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PoliticsSaudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's King Salman undergoing medical tests

May 19, 2024

Saudi Arabian state media said that the 88-year-old monarch was suffering from fever and joint pain. His son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has de facto ruled the kingdom since 2017.

Saudi Arabian King Salman
Saudia Arabia's King Salman is undergoing medical tests for the second time in under a monthImage: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/REUTERS

A medical team was treating Saudi King Salman for a lung inflammation after he was brought to the hospital complaining of joint pain and "high temperature", state media said on Sunday.

This is the second time the monarch has been examined in less than a month.

The Royal Court of Saudi Arabia said tests conducted Sunday at a clinic at the Al-Salam Palace in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah "found that there was a lung infection."

Doctors decided on "a treatment program consisting of antibiotics until the inflammation went away," according to the latest royal statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Who is Saudi Arabia's King Salman?

Before becoming Saudi Arabia's monarch, King Salman served as the governor of the central Riyadh region and as Defense Minister. Now 88 years old, he has been on the throne since 2015.

His son Mohammed bin Salman, who was named crown prince in 2017, is generally seen as the country's de facto ruler.

At the time, the kingdom dismissed speculation that the monarch was preparing to step down in favor of his son.

King Salman underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder in 2020.

In March 2022, he was hospitalized to change the battery of his pacemaker.

Since stepping into the limelight, the crown prince has implemented social and economic reforms in an apparent push to make  Saudi Arabia less reliant on oil in the future.

Saudi Arabia has undertaken major construction projects, including building the desert city of Neomunder Mohammed bin Salman,  with the goal of increasing tourism to the kingdom.

The prince has also overseen a crackdown on dissent.

sdi/dj (AP, AFP)