Saudi monarch on death bed with cancer: Opposition

Saudi monarch on death bed with cancer: Opposition
Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:49:43

A Saudi opposition research group has revealed that King Abdullah has been diagnosed with lung cancer and may be on the verge of passing away soon.

Citing sources in Saudi Arabia and the United States, the Washington-based Institute for [Persian] Gulf Affairs announced that Abdullah was told he could pass away by the end of 2014.

“The king has been told by his medical team he may have as little as six months left to live,” the institute said.

In a statement on April 17, the institute, aligned with the Shia opposition in the US-backed Persian Gulf kingdom, said Abdullah was “suffering from terminal lung cancer.”

The statement further added that Abdullah, known as a chain smoker, was seen wearing a breathing tube during his meeting with US President Barack Obama on March 28. The king was also seen with the tube on April 4 when hereturned to Riyadh from his retreat in Rawdat Khuraim.

“The recent scramble to designate a line of succession is not surprising given that King Abdullah has only a few months left, due to advancing age in addition to his terminal illness,” institute policy analyst Rachel Hertzman said.

The institute said the king’s deterioration sparked a series of appointments. Over the last month, Abdullah, reported to be between 90 to 98 years old, appointed his half-brother Prince Muqrin as successor to the crown prince and dismissed intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.

Abdullah is also expected to announce another series of appointments over the next few days. The institute said the appointments have intensified the power struggle within the royal family.

“Observers expect the news of Abdullah’s condition to lead to intense vying for power among the members of the vast ruling family,” the institute said.


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