King Salman of Saudi Arabia, 86, was admitted to hospital for “medical examinations”, a statement from the royal palace said on Sunday without specifying the nature of these tests. The king “was admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah on Saturday for medical examinations”, according to the statement published by the official Spa news agency. “May God preserve the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and may he enjoy health and well-being”, it is written.

The king has ruled since 2015 and the death of his half-brother Abdallah the Saudi kingdom, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and the largest economy in the Arab world. He then had a long experience of power, having chaired, when he was crown prince, the Council of Ministers and represented abroad the sovereign who suffered from health problems.

In recent years, the monarch has become increasingly rare in public, stoking rumors about his state of health. He uses a cane to move around and his speech has become more hesitant. Last March, the king was admitted to hospital for “medical tests” and to “replace the battery of his pacemaker”, the SPA agency said at the time. In July 2020, he underwent an operation to remove the gallbladder and in 2010 he had surgery for a herniated disc. His son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is now considered the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

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