King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. File
Gulf Today Report
Saudi Arabia’s 84-year-old ruler, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, has been admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh, suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder, the kingdom’s Royal Court said Monday in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The statement said the monarch is being tested at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital. The brief statement did not provide further details.
King Salman has been in power since January 2015. He is considered the last Saudi monarch of his generation of brothers who have held power since the death of their father and founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz.
King Salman has empowered his 34-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, as his successor. The crown prince's assertive and bold style of leadership, as well as his consolidation of power and sidelining of potential rivals, has been controversial.
With the support of his father, Prince Mohammed has transformed the kingdom in recent years, opening it up to tourists and eroding decades of ultraconservative restrictions on entertainment and women's rights as he tries to diversify the Saudi economy away from reliance on oil exports. The prince has also detained dozens of activists and critics, overseen a devastating war in Yemen and rounded up top members of the royal family in his quest for power.
The Saudi king has not been seen in public in recent months due to social distancing guidelines and concerns over the spread of the coronavirus inside the kingdom, which has one of the largest outbreaks in the Middle East. He has been shown, however, in state-run media images attending virtual meetings with his Cabinet and held calls with world leaders.
King Salman, who oversees Islam's holiest sites in Mecca and Medina, was crown prince under King Abdullah and served as defense minister. For more than 50 years prior to that, he was governor of Riyadh, overseeing its evolution from a barren city to a teeming capital.
Saudi Arabia and China showcased deepening ties with a series of strategic deals on Thursday during a visit by President Xi Jinping, including one with tech giant Huawei.
The cables were sent by Their Highnesses the Rulers Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Sheikh Hamad Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Sheikh Saud Bin Rashid Al Mu'alla and Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi.
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman, after he was discharged from Hospital.
"Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children died in a plane crash last evening in Utah,” Hogue wrote in his email. "They were visiting family in Scottsdale and returning home. They stopped to refuel in Utah.”
Backed by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce, the event played host to 500 specialised companies, unveiling the latest and most sought-after designs in watches, jewellery, and gold ornaments from around the world.
The tragedy struck the town of Qaraqosh, in a wedding hall with a capacity of “no more than 400 people,” Interior Minister Amir Al Shammari told a press conference. That night, it held in excess of 900 people, he said.