RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah arrived in New York early Tuesday morning after leaving Riyadh on Monday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.The king was received at John F. Kennedy Airport by Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation Prince Abdul Rahman, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir and a number of princes and Saudi officials.The king will be undergoing medical checkups at a specialized center for back pain because of a slipped disc and blood clot.Last Wednesday, the king’s son, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, was appointed minister of state and commander of the National Guard, which also places him on the Council of Ministers.Prince Miteb said on Tuesday that the king was in good health when he was receiving guests who came to congratulate him on his new appointment.
In Washington, the State Department said on Monday that it had helped facilitate clearances for the King to come to the US for treatment. “The king is a valued partner,” department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “We wish him a speedy recovery,” he added.Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said Monday the king suffered a slipped disc and that a blood clot was pressing on nerves in his back, causing him pain and so he was heading abroad for treatment.“But I assure everyone that the king is in stable condition and enjoys good health and God willing will return in good health to lead this great nation,” Al-Rabeeah said.The king delegated power to Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, on Monday prior to leaving for the US.King Abdullah issued a royal decree mandating Prince Sultan to “administer the nation’s affairs” in his absence. Crown Prince Sultan arrived late Sunday night in the Kingdom from Morocco where he had been on a private vacation.Meanwhile, Crown Prince Sultan received Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, senior scholars, ministers, high officials, senior military commanders and dignitaries who came to greet him at the Aziziah Palace on Tuesday – Arabnews