King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia arrived at JFK Airport this morning for medical treatment and tests. Apparently the leader of the world's top oil-producing country suffered a slipped disc and a blood clot was pressing on his nerves, prompting the need for further treatment in the U.S. The country's health minister said, "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."
Abdullah is 86 or 87, and he turned over control of Saudi Arabia to his "frail" 80-year-old brother Crown Prince Sultan. Reuters reports, "With both Abdullah and Sultan in their 80s, speculation arose that conservative Interior Minister Prince Nayef, at a relatively youthful 76, could take over running the affairs of state some time in the near future... Diplomats in Riyadh say Western governments concerned about the fate of social and economic reforms promoted by Abdullah have reservations about the ascent of Nayef, seen as a religious and social traditionalist."
The State Department said, via Twitter, "Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz is currently visiting the U.S. for medical treatment, and we hope for his speedy recovery."