Saudi officials on Monday said that King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the nation’s 84-year-old ruler, has been hospitalized with gallbladder inflammation.
The king will undergo medical checks at a Riyadh hospital, the state-owned news agency SPA said Monday, according to Reuters.
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said a slated visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has been postponed due to the king’s hospitalization, according to the news service.
"In recognition of the importance of the visit and keenness to make it a success, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq decided to postpone the visit until after King Salman leaves the hospital," bin Farhan tweeted.
تقدر المملكة اختيار رئيس الوزراء العراقي زيارتها كأول دولة بعد توليه منصبه، واحتفاءاً بهذه الزيارة البالغة الأهمية ورغبة في توفير كل سبل النجاح لها، آثرت قيادتنا الرشيدة، بالتنسيق مع أشقائنا في العراق، تأجيل الزيارة إلى ما بعد خروج مولاي خادم الحرمين الشريفين من المستشفى— فيصل بن فرحان (@FaisalbinFarhan) July 20, 2020
The king, who took power in 2015, was crown prince and deputy premier of the kingdom from June 2012 until the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah. King Salman ordered the beginning of the ongoing Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, which has continued since. Human rights groups have alleged various human rights violations and war crimes during the campaign, including airstrikes on funerals and weddings.
His son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, has long been considered the nation’s de facto ruler, and was hailed as a reformer before the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Consulate, which numerous intelligence services have concluded the crown prince ordered.