White House wishes Mandela well after his hospitalisation

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (AFP) - The White House sent good wishes on Saturday to Mr Nelson Mandela after the South African hero of the fight against apartheid was hospitalised for a renewed lung infection.

Mr Mandela, who turns 95 next month, was taken to a Pretoria hospital for his fourth hospital stay in seven months. A spokesman said he was in "serious but stable" condition.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the people of South Africa as he recovers," United States National Security Council spokesman Caitlin Hayden said.

US President Barack Obama, who has often called Mr Mandela an inspirational figure, was concluding two days of informal talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California.