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World News

Out of hospital, Saudi King tweets Eid greetings

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s 84-year-old ruler, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, tweeted Eid al-Adha greetings early on Friday, shortly after leaving hospital.

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The Saudi King, custodian of Islam’s holiest sites, left King Faisal hospital on Thursday after undergoing surgery to remove his gallbladder earlier in the week, the state news agency SPA had reported.

The king, who has ruled the world’s largest oil exporter and close U.S. ally since 2015, also prayed for an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I congratulate everyone on the occasion of Eid al-Adha,” the Tweet said.

“I ask God almighty .... to lift the pandemic from our country and the world with his grace and mercy.”

Friday marks the first day of Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calender.

King Salman had been admitted to hospital on July ‮‮20‬‬ suffering from inflammation of the gall bladder.

In a video released by SPA late on Thursday, the king could be seen walking steadily out of hospital, followed by several aides and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wearing a face mask. The king was walking with a cane, as he usually does.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS as he is widely referred to, is Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and next in line to the throne.

The king had chaired a meeting via video from hospital last week before his surgery. In a video aired by state media outlets, he could be seen reading and leafing through documents. Reuters could not independently verify the date the footage was filmed.

Reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek, Ahmed Tolba and Samar Hassan; writing by Raya Jalabi and Maha El Dahan Editing by Franklin Paul, Grant McCool and Michael Perry

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