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Sat 13 Nov 2010 11:11 AM

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Saudi king told to rest over slipped disc-agency

King Abdullah, who took charge in the key US ally in 2005, is estimated to be 86 or 87 years old

Saudi king told to rest over slipped disc-agency
Saudi Arabias King Abdullah is suffering from a slipped disc, the state news agency reported on Friday

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has been told by doctors to rest because he is suffering from a slipped disc, the state news agency reported on Friday.

King Abdullah, who took charge in the key US ally in 2005, is estimated to be 86 or 87 years old, making a change of leadership likely in the not too distant future.

A brief statement on SPA said: "The royal court said that the king is suffering from a health ailment in his back in that he was exposed to a slipped disc and doctors advised him to rest, according to a health plan."

Crown Prince Sultan, the king's half-brother who is also in his 80s, has been abroad for unspecified health treatment for much of the last two years and diplomats in Riyadh say he has not resumed full duties. He is outside the country after leaving for what was described in August as a holiday in Morocco.

Political stability in the monarchy is of global concern. The Gulf Arab state controls more than a fifth of the world's crude reserves, is a vital US ally in the region, a major holder of dollar assets and home to the biggest Arab bourse.

Analysts expect no change in Saudi oil policy in the event of a transfer of power.

Released late on Friday evening in Saudi Arabia, the news comes amid a Saudi holiday as some two million Muslim pilgrims gather in the holy city of Mecca for the haj pilgrimage.

Interior Minister Prince Nayef was appointed second deputy prime minister in 2009, a move which analysts said places him in a strong position to become crown prince or king one day.

Analysts say the king's appointment of Nayef to the post could also avert a power vacuum in the event of serious health problems afflicting the king and crown prince.

Prince Nayef, a half-brother of the king and full-brother of the crown prince, has been in Mecca this week, supervising security arrangements for the haj.

The king, who has led a US backed policy of social and economic reform in the strict Islamic state, did not take part in a summit of G20 nations in South Korea this week. He had been expected to make an appearance in Mecca next week towards the end of the haj, which begins on Sunday.(Reuters)

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Mr. Nicola 9 years ago

This is the best king ever! I have been in Saudi in 1998 for the first time and since then lived there or visited continuously. The stability and reforms this King is implementing are amazing and I hope health and long life to him.

musso 9 years ago

I wish and pray for his health and may he lives 100 years more and rule Saudi Arabia as well. I think after (Late) King Faisal, King Abdullah has displayed true leadership and has lead this country toward the right directions. His vision are very dynamic and also for the Muslim world King Abdullah is our leader. Once can understand his vision and concern but sadly the other idiots are not listening to him. We can see how much he tried to bring the other muslims to be united.

Abdulghany 9 years ago

Speedy recovery to our beloved king. May Allah bring him to power soon.

SA 9 years ago

May Allah (s.w.t.) give the King a healthy life and to serve his people for many years.

AFTAB QURAISHI 9 years ago

I wish King Abdullah best of health and speedy recovery soon.

Mohammad Dawood Jilani 9 years ago

I m from Pakistan but i was in Saudi Arabia since 18 years and i also wish that Saudi Arabia develop more and more and it can only happens when when good kind of leadership stay alive... so inshallah king become healthy a soon as well...DJ

FaDanaAzmarah Al Mansya 9 years ago

May HM the King Abdulla recover from his illness as soon as possible!!!