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The New Arab Staff

Iraq PM's Saudi visit postponed after King Salman is rushed to hospital for 'medical checks'

King Salman has been admitted to hospital for medical checks [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 July, 2020

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Saudi Arabia's King Salman has been taken to hospital due to an inflamed gall bladder.


Saudi King Salman has been admitted to hospital due to an inflamed gall bladder on Monday with doctors conducting medical checks on the 84-year-old ruler, the palace has said.

"The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman - may God protect him - was admitted this Monday, 29 Dhul Qidah 1441 A.H., marking July 20, 2020, - to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh to undergo some tests due to an inflammation in the gallbladder. May God protect the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and bless him with health and wellness," a statement issued by the royal court read.

No further information was given about the Saudi king's condition but Riyadh also announced that Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi planned visit to Saudi Arabia will be postponed.

"The kingdom appreciates the choice of the Iraqi Prime Minister to visit [Saudi Arabia] as the first country after taking office," Prince Faisal tweeted. 

"To celebrate this extremely important visit and to provide all means for its success, our rational leadership, in coordination with our brothers in Iraq, opted to postpone the visit until Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is released from the hospital."

It was to be Kadhimi's first official visit to Saudi Arabia and the PM was to be accompanied by a high-level delegation including Iraq's ministers of oil, electricity, planning and finance.

King Salman took to the throne in 2015 and has been subject to questions regarding his health ever since.

In 2016, he missed an Arab League summit, allegedly due to health reasons.

His son, Mohammed bin Salman, supplanted King Salman's brother Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince in 2016.

As the planned successor to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has embarked on a massive campaign of repression against perceived opponents and challengers, which has included the jailing of leading princes, business figures and activists.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was subject to international backlash after he was linked to the murder of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The crown prince has managed to centralise power into his own hands making him, with the king, the most powerful figure in the kingdom.

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