Saudi Arabia's king diagnosed with lung inflammation, cancels trip to Japan

 May 21, 2024

Saudi Arabian citizens were shocked to learn this week that the country's highest-ranking royal family member had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.

According to CNN, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was diagnosed with lung inflammation after several medical tests and had to be treated at a hospital for the condition.

The Saudi Royal Court, on May 19, announced that the king would be undergoing tests.

"The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [Salman] will undergo medical examinations today, May 19, at the Royal Clinics of Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah due to a high fever and joint pain. The medical team will conduct tests to diagnose his condition and monitor his health," the statement read.

This isn't King Salman's first brush with medical issues, as he had his gallbladder removed in 2020.

The king's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of the Middle Eastern nation, was forced to cancel a trip to Japan due to his father's illness.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry released a statement on the canceled trip by the Saudi royals.

"His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was scheduled to pay an Official Visit to Japan from 20 to 23 May," the ministry said.

It added, "On late night of 19 May the Government of Saudi Arabia informed the Government of Japan that H.R.H. Prince Mohammed’s visit needed to be postponed due to the health condition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The expected visit of H.R.H Prince Mohammed will be coordinated between the two countries."

It was reported that bin Salman's and King Salman's trip to Tokyo will be scheduled for a later date.

Bin Salman, prior to the canceled Japan trip, met with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. The two discussed a variety of global topics.

CNN noted:

During the meeting they discussed regional developments, including the conflict in Gaza, “the need to stop the war” and how to find a “credible track towards the two-state solution,” the news agency reported.

A number of world leaders wished the Saudi king a speedy recovery.