Saudi King leaves Geneva amid reports of deteriorating health
The health of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd is deteriorating despite his recent recovery from eye surgery, diplomats and a Saudi opposition group said Tuesday, according to Reuters.
The 79-year-old king officially runs Saudi Arabia, but his half-brother Crown Prince Abdullah has actually been the kingdom's de facto ruler since King Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995. Surgery to remove an eye cataract, which took place at a Geneva hospital last month, heightened speculation about the already frail health of the king, who is diabetic.
Saudi officials said the king was in good health after the surgery, but some diplomats in the Gulf, as well as sources in the kingdom, have said the monarch's state of health had sparked recent succession talk among the royal family.
"His condition is not much worse but it is not as stable as before," said one diplomat. On its Web site, the London-based opposition Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA) said the king was not as strong as before and his mental health had deteriorated to the point where he no longer recognized some of his children.
Meanwhile, the King moved on to the next phase of his summer vacation Wednesday, taking his 12-aircraft entourage from Switzerland to Spain, where he has a home on the Mediterranean coast.
Jean-Luc Portier, a member of Geneva airport's management team, told AP Fahd left with a fleet of 12 large passenger jets in the afternoon. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)