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Monday June 24, 2024

Saudi king chairs cabinet meeting after ‘recovery’

By Reuters
May 29, 2024
Saudi Arabias King Salman bin Abdulaziz chairs a virtual cabinet meeting from his office. — Saudi Press Agency/File
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz chairs a virtual cabinet meeting from his office. — Saudi Press Agency/File 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia´s ageing king chaired a virtual cabinet meeting on Tuesday, state media said, his first after the royal court announced earlier this month he had a lung infection.

At the beginning of the session, King Salman “thanked his sons and daughters, the people of the kingdom, for their... kind prayers” during his recovery, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

“He also expressed... his gratitude to everyone who sent him wishes of health and well-being,” SPA said.

It said Saudi Arabia´s de facto ruler, 38-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and cabinet ministers “extended their praise and thanks to God for the (king´s) recovery”.

SPA published close-up images of the 88-year-old monarch as he looked on at a screen broadcasting the cabinet session.

The meeting comes nearly 10 days since the royal court said the king had a lung infection and was undergoing a treatment involving antibiotics. An earlier statement said he was suffering from a high temperature and joint pain.

King Salman has been on the throne since 2015, although Prince Mohammed was named crown prince in 2017 and acts as day-to-day ruler.

Saudi Arabia, the world´s biggest crude oil exporter, has for years sought to quell speculation about King Salman´s health, which is rarely discussed.

But the royal court said in April that he had been admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital for “routine examinations”. He left the hospital later the same day.