Saudi Arabia's King Salman hospitalized for medical checkup

The king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Ernest Sunday

The king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been admitted to hospital after suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder, the state media reported.

The king who has ruled Saudi Arabia for five years (23 January 2015) was admitted to Faisal Specialist Hospital reported the SPA on Monday but no further details were revealed regarding his condition.

The Iraqi Prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was supposed to visit the 84-year-old king at Riyadh but the visit has been postponed following his hospitalisation said the Saudi foreign minister.

"In recognition of the importance of the visit and a desire to make it succeed, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq has decided to postpone the visit," Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud wrote on Twitter.

The king who was born on 31 December 1935 is reported as the 25th son of Ibn Saudi, the first monarch and founder of Saudi Arabia.

The king (Salman) with his six brothers makes up the Sudairi Seven.

He was raised in the Murabba Palace and attended his early education at the Princes' School which is located at the capital city of Riyadh where he studied religion and modern science. Ibn Saud established the school.

At the age of 79, on 3rd January 2015, Salman was appointed the king of Saudi Arabia after his half-brother Abdullah who died of pneumonia, age of 90.

After taking over the leadership Salman "gave a bonus of two months salary" to all Saudi state employees and military personnel, including pensioners and students and asked Saudi Arabian citizens not to forget him in their prayers.

Salman was also an arbitrator in settling royal conflicts among the extended Al Saud family – estimated at 4,000 princes. Though he owns only ten per cent of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), he is often referred by auditors as its owner.

He reportedly controls the organisation through his son Prince Faisal, who is a former chairman of the concern.

The SRMG publishes such daily papers as Arab News, Asharq Al-Awsat and Al Eqtisadiah, through its subsidiary Saudi Research and Publishing Company (SRPC).

The next to the throne in Saudi Arabia is Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of Salman.

Bin has been praised at home for easing social restrictions in the conservative Muslim kingdom, giving more rights to women and pledging to diversify the economy.

But he has also drawn criticism for Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen's long-running war. He attempts to silence dissidents and consolidate power by marginalising rivals, including a purge of top royals and business people on corruption charges.

He came under intense international criticism over the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, which the CIA has reportedly said took place on the crown prince's orders.

MBS has denied ordering Khashoggi's killing but said he ultimately bears "full responsibility" as the kingdom's de facto leader.

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