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India’s Modi ‘deeply concerned’ about Saudi King Salman’s health

The 88-year-old king has faced health setbacks in recent weeks, prompting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to cancel a trip to Japan.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz (2nd R) shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) after they joined heads of states and international organizations for a "family photo" during the G20 Summit in Brisbane on Nov. 15, 2014.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern on Wednesday over Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz health, even as the crown prince reassured the kingdom about his father's health.

On Wednesday, Modi posted on X that he is “deeply concerned” about reports surrounding the king’s health. “Deeply concerned about the reports of the health of His Majesty @KingSalman bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I join the people of India in wishing him a speedy and full recovery,” wrote Modi on the social media platform.

Late last month, the Saudi Royal Court said King Salman, 88, entered the King Faisal Specialist Hospital for “routine examinations” — a rare public statement by authorities on the ruler’s health — Agence France-Presse reported at the time.

The Court said on Sunday that King Salman had been diagnosed with a lung infection and received treatment, including antibiotics.

On Monday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman canceled his trip to Japan over concerns about his father’s health. 

On Tuesday, the crown prince sent a reassuring message to the public about his father's health: "The crown prince reassures everyone of the health of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques ... praying to God Almighty to bless him with a speedy recovery and to grant him good and sound health," the state TV reported. 

The crown prince made the comments during a cabinet session. King Salman typically attends the meeting but was absent on Tuesday, per AFP.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia crown prince will not participate in a previously unannounced trip to China this week. Saudi officials will visit the People’s Republic following their trip to Japan, according to the outlet.

King Salman ascended to the throne in 2015. However, the crown prince is widely described as the day-to-day ruler of the kingdom, managing the Public Investment Fund and serving as prime minister, among other roles.

Before his April visit, King Salman had last gone to the hospital in 2022 for a colonoscopy, according to AFP.

India and Saudi Arabia maintain friendly relations per the Gulf’s pivot East and India’s desire to deepen relations with Middle Eastern states. Crown Prince Mohammed visited India in September, during which time he held trade talks with Modi.