Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

Saudi King Salman chairs Cabinet meeting from hospital

Video of the Saudi monarch overseeing the meeting was broadcast on state TV

Saudi King Salman held a Cabinet meeting by video call from hospital in the capital Riyadh on Tuesday, a day after he was admitted with inflammation of the gall-bladder.

A video of the king, 84, presiding over the meeting was broadcast on Saudi state TV on Tuesday evening.

In the footage, King Salman was behind a desk at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, reading and leafing through documents.

The king, who has ruled Saudi Arabia since 2015, was undergoing medical checks, state media reported on Monday.

The Saudi Press Agency said the government renewed its condemnation of the "irresponsible activities" of the terrorist Houthi militias in Yemen.

The Cabinet demanded that the UN takes "strong and decisive measures" to prevent "environmental, economic, and human catastrophe to Yemen and neighbouring countries" from a deteriorating oil tanker moored off the coast of Houthi territory.

UN Environment Programme chief Inger Andersen told the Security Council last week that an oil spill from the 45-year-old FSO Safer, would wreck ecosystems and livelihoods for decades.

The tanker has not been maintained for more than five years. It has 1.14 million barrels of crude oil on board and is at risk of spilling it into the Red Sea.

UN sources said this month that the Houthi rebels had agreed to give the United Nations access to the tanker.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Tuesday inquired and was reassured about the health of King Salman, the state news agency Wam reported.

Sheikh Mohamed wished the king good health and wellness during a phone call.

King Salman expressed his thanks to Sheikh Mohamed and wished the people of the UAE further progress and prosperity.

He also received calls from the leaders of Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan on Monday, state media reported.

A diplomatic source said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman flew back to Riyadh on Monday from his palace in the Red Sea city of Neom, cancelling a meeting with a visiting Iraqi delegation.

King Salman, custodian of Islam's holiest sites, on March 19 made a five-minute televised address about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Updated: July 22, 2020 03:52 PM

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