Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

Saudi Arabia's King Salman leaves hospital after operation

The ruler was admitted to hospital in Riyadh on July 20

Saudi Arabia's King Salman left hospital on Thursday after recovering from an operation, the Saudi royal court said.

The 84-year-old monarch was seen walking out of King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Riyadh in a video posted on Twitter by the official Saudi Press Agency.

King Salman was admitted to the hospital on July 20. Despite undergoing tests, the ruler chaired a cabinet meeting from hospital the following day and underwent an operation to remove his gall bladder later in the week.

The king's discharge was welcomed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, who retweeted the video of the Saudi ruler leaving hospital with the message: "This Eid is two Eids. Thank God for your recovery, Bou Fahd."

The leaders of Kuwait and the secretary general of the Organisation for Islamic Co-operation also congratulated the king on his recovery.

King Salman left hospital on the eve of the Eid Al Adha as pilgrims were performing the final rites of Hajj, with numbers severely reduced this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and participation limited to residents of the kingdom.

In a speech on Friday, the Saudi ruler said the scaled-down Hajj required "double efforts" by authorities.

"Holding the ritual in the shadow of this pandemic ... required reducing the numbers of pilgrims, but it obliged various official agencies to put in double efforts," King Salman said in a speech read out on state television by acting media minister Majid Al Qasabi.

"The Hajj this year was restricted to a very limited number of people from multiple nationalities, ensuring the ritual was completed despite the difficult circumstances," he said.

The Saudi ruler and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent Eid greetings to leaders of Islamic countries on the occasion, wishing them prosperity and an end to the coronavirus pandemic, SPA said.

Updated: July 31, 2020 06:59 PM

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