JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Saudi Crown Prince
Salman "reassured" Saudis during a cabinet meeting on Monday
about King Abdullah's health, more than a week after the monarch
had surgery to tighten a ligament in his back, state news agency
The king, believed to be in his late 80s, was admitted for
surgery on Nov. 16 and an announcement from the Royal Court said
he had undergone a successful back operation that took 11 hours.
Saudi stability is of global concern. The key U.S. ally
holds more than a fifth of world petroleum reserves and is the
birthplace of Islam, where millions of Muslims flock to perform
the annual haj pilgrimage.
"His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz reassured
everybody about the health of King Abdullah," SPA said without
giving any details or saying when the king might be released
The Saudi stock market, which was on a downward trend
throughout the day, reversed course and the index closed
up 0.4 percent.
Top royals have repeatedly visited King Abdullah at the
Riyadh hospital since the operation, SPA said on Saturday, but
no photographs of the monarch have been released.
The crown has passed down a line of sons of the kingdom's
founder King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, who died in 1953.
Abdullah - who took power in 2005- named his brother Prince
Salman, 13 years his junior, heir apparent in June after the
death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz. Salman deputises for
the king while he is away and has chaired both this week and
last week's cabinet meetings.