Saudi Arabian King Hospitalized
King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was hospitalized Monday for inflammation of the gall bladder, local media reported. No other information was given regarding the 84-year-old’s condition, besides the fact that he was undergoing medical checks in the state’s capital. A Riyadh summit with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi that was scheduled for Tuesday was postponed due to the abrupt hospitalization. Despite his age, King Salman has been ruler of Saudi Arabia for less than five years, following the passing of his half-brother King Abdullah. Prior to ascending the throne, he was Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense and the Governor of Riyadh for 48 years. While many major policies and initiatives, such as the intervention in the Yemen War and the women’s driving reform, were launched under his rule, it is his son, 34-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is considered the de-facto ruler of the country. On Saturday, neighboring Kuwait’s ruler, 91-year-old Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, was admitted to a local hospital for an unplanned surgery. Kuwait’s official news agency did not provide detail regarding the sudden emergency procedure, but did report that the Gulf nation’s crown prince had temporarily assumed some of the sheikh’s powers.