Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz has been admitted to hospital in the capital Riyadh for gallbladder inflammation, the royal court said yesterday. The king was “admitted today to King Faisal specialist hospital in Riyadh for some medical tests due to cholecystitis,” inflammation of the gallbladder, the royal court said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency. It did not disclose any further details.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia, which was due to start on Monday, has been postponed after the king’s hospitalization, according to the kingdom’s foreign minister. “In recognition of the extremely important visit and a desire to make it a success, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq have decided to postpone the visit,” Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan wrote on Twitter.

Under the king’s rule, Saudi Arabia launched ambitious economic reforms for a post-oil era and gave more rights to women, but also adopted a more assertive foreign policy. King Salman took the throne in 2015 after the death of his half-brother Abdullah. King Salman, the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, spent more than 2-1/2 years as the Saudi crown prince and deputy premier from June 2012 before becoming king. — Agencies