Saudi king healthy and walking: top prince

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is in good shape and was walking shortly after undergoing an operation last week, Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said in newspaper reports on Sunday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 29 Nov 2010, 1:23 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:19 AM

Nayef, the king’s half-brother considered second in line to the throne, said the 86-year-old king was walking at his New York city hospital on his own feet after his operation last Wednesday for a herniated disc, the reports said.

Later on Monday, Nayef clarified to the official Saudi news agency SPA that the king had walked ‘inside’ the hospital rather than outside as earlier reported.

The prince gave no indication of whether the king had been discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital, nor when he would be returning to the Middle East oil powerhouse he has ruled for five years.

Abdullah left Riyadh on November 22 for the operation.

Despite the unusual level of transparency about his ailment, the news sparked worries among the population over the reformist monarch’s long-term health and the make-up of the government, dominated by the royal family.

The leading princes of the government, including Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, are mostly in their 70s and 80s and have held their jobs for decades.

Many are believed suffering chronic ailments that have not been reported publicly.

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