Saudi King Salman to remain in hospital after colonoscopy

Saudi Arabia's King Salman entered King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah on May 7, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia’s ageing King Salman will remain in hospital after undergoing tests including a colonoscopy, state media reported Sunday (May 8). 

The kingdom has for years sought to quell speculation over the health of the 86-year-old monarch, who has ruled the world’s top oil exporter since 2015. 

He entered King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the coastal city of Jeddah on Saturday "to conduct some medical examinations", according to an official report, citing a royal court statement.

On Sunday afternoon doctors performed a colonoscopy “and the result was sound”, the Saudi Press Agency later said. “The medical team decided to keep him in the hospital for some time to rest,” the report said. 

It is rare for the secretive kingdom to report on the health of the monarch.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia dismissed reports and mounting speculation the king was planning to abdicate in favour of his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country's de facto ruler.

King Salman underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder in 2020.

He was most recently hospitalised in March, for what state media described as "successful medical tests" and to change the battery of his pacemaker.

Under his rule, Saudi Arabia has launched ambitious economic reforms for a post-oil era and given more rights to women, while adopting a more assertive foreign policy including entering a war in neighbouring Yemen.

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