Saudi king has more medical tests, told to rest
RIYADH - Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday underwent more medical tests after feeling pain in the back and has been advised by doctors to rest, the state news agency SPA said.
Published: Fri 19 Nov 2010, 7:48 PM
Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:16 AM
The world’s top oil exporter had issued a statement on Tuesday reassuring Saudis about Abdullah’s health after doctors ordered rest because of a slipped disc. The king is thought to be 86 or 87 years old.
Political stability in the monarchy is of global concern. The Gulf Arab state controls more than a fifth of the world’s crude reserves, is a vital US ally in the region, a major holder of dollar assets and home to the biggest Arab bourse.
On Nov. 13 the government said that, given Abdullah’s medical condition, Interior Ministry Prince Nayef would oversee the Haj pilgrimage, which ended this week.
Prince Nayef, thought to be about 76, was appointed second deputy prime minister in 2009 in a move which analysts said puts him in a strong position to become crown prince or king one day.
Analysts say the king’s appointment of Nayef to the post could avert a power vacuum in the event of serious health problems afflicting the king and crown prince.
Crown Prince Sultan, also in his 80s, has been abroad for unspecified health treatment for much of the last two years and diplomats in Riyadh say he has not resumed full duties. He is outside the country after leaving for what was described in August as a holiday in Morocco.