King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's ruler, successfully underwent surgery for the removal of his gallbladder on Thursday following his hospitalization earlier this week. The 84-year-old king will remain in the hospital for a while to receive further treatment, reported state news agency SPA.
King Salman, on Monday, got admitted to the hospital in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, after suffering from the inflammation of his gallbladder. The monarch also chaired a cabinet meeting through video conferencing from the hospital on Tuesday and was seen behind a desk in a video where he was reading and skimming through documents.
Son Next in Line to Throne
King Salman was crown prince and deputy premier for over 2-1/2 years from June 2012 before becoming king. He also served as governor of the Riyadh region for more than 50 years. Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and next in line to the throne is the king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is widely referred to as MbS and has launched reforms to diversify its oil-dependent economy.
The 34-year-old prince, who is popular among many young Saudis, has won praise at home for easing social restrictions in the conservative Muslim kingdom, giving more rights to women and pledging to diversify the economy.
Crown Prince's Purge Unnerves Western Allies
To the king's supporters, this boldness at home and abroad was a welcome change after decades of caution, stagnation, and dithering. But state control of the media and a crackdown on dissent make it difficult to gauge the extent of domestic enthusiasm.
The crown prince's reforms have been accompanied by a purge of top royals and businessmen on charges of corruption, and a costly war in Yemen, which have all unnerved some Western allies and investors. His prestige also suffered a blow after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the hands of Saudi security personnel seen as close to him.
(With inputs from agencies)