Saudi king has ‘high temperature’, will undergo tests: statement

Published May 19, 2024
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives a virtual speech during the opening session of the 15th annual G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this file photo from November 2020. — Reuters/File
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives a virtual speech during the opening session of the 15th annual G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this file photo from November 2020. — Reuters/File

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is suffering from “high temperature” and joint pain and will undergo his second round of medical tests in less than a month, state media reported Sunday.

The tests will take place at a clinic at the Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, the Royal Court said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

King Salman “suffers from a high temperature and pain in the joints,” the statement said. “The treating medical team decided to conduct some tests to diagnose the health condition and to ensure his health.”

Salman, 88, has been on the throne since 2015, though his son, Mohammed bin Salman, 38, was named crown prince in 2017 and acts as day-to-day ruler.

The monarch’s health is rarely discussed, but the Royal Court disclosed in April that he had been admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital for “routine examinations”. He left the hospital later that day.

Prior to that, his most recent hospitalisation had been in May 2022, when he went in for a colonoscopy and stayed for just over a week for other tests and “some time to rest”, SPA reported at the time.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, has sought to quell speculation over King Salman’s health for years.

In 2017, Riyadh dismissed reports and mounting speculation that the king was planning to abdicate in favour of Prince Mohammed.

King Salman underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder in 2020. He was also admitted to the hospital in March 2022 to undergo what state media described as “successful medical tests” and to change the battery of his pacemaker.

King Salman served as Riyadh governor for decades and also as defence minister.

His reign as king has been marked by ambitious social and economic reforms largely managed by his son, who is trying to position Saudi Arabia for an eventual post-oil future.

Prince Mohammed has also overseen an intense crackdown on dissent that analysts say has helped him consolidate power.

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