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Sat 25 Aug 2012 11:29 AM

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Saudi minister's health improving after surgery

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal may leave hospital in a few days

Saudi minister's health improving after surgery
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal may leave hospital in a few days after a recent operation, the royal court said late on Friday, denying reports he was critically ill.

"As a result of the improving health of Prince Saud... he has come off the breathing apparatus normally used after operations like the one he successfully underwent. God willing, he will leave hospital in the next few days," said the statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

A Saudi dissident group in the United States had said earlier on Friday that Prince Saud, who is 72 and suffers a chronic back complaint, was critically ill.

Prince Saud, a son of the late King Faisal and a nephew of King Abdullah, was appointed in March 1975 and is the world's longest-serving foreign minister.

The Saudi Press Agency said on August 11 that he had successfully had minor surgery to remove an intestinal obstruction caused by a previous operation. It reported on Tuesday that King Abdullah had visited him in hospital.

He did not attend a summit of Muslim leaders in Mecca earlier this month.

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