Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has left hospital after undergoing surgery and a period of treatment, the state press agency reported on Thursday.
“The Royal Court announced here today that Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has left hospital … following completing the required period of treatment and that he will spend some time to convalesce,” a statement from SPA read.
The news follows Prince Saud making his first public appearance on Sunday, when Gulf foreign ministers who had met in Jeddah visited the prince.
A picture published by the news agency showed the 72-year-old prince dressed in traditional thawb Arabian dress and wearing sports shoes greeting the foreign ministers in the hospital.
He was shown seated and looking frail.
The royal court had said 10 days ago that Prince Saud was still recovering from an operation he underwent earlier in August to remove an obstruction in his intestines.
At the time, the court said his condition was stable but reports later surfaced claiming that he had died after the operation — prompting a denial from the foreign ministry.
The Saudi press reported on Aug.19 that King Abdullah had visited Saud at the Specialist Hospital in Jeddah, but no images of him were published.
Prince Saud is one of the world’s longest-serving foreign ministers, having been appointed to the post in 1975, seven months after the assassination of his father, king Faisal.
He has suffered from back problems over the years and has undergone surgery in the United States.
Last month, news agency Reuters was hacked for the third time in a month, with an article falsely claiming that Prince Saud had died.
"Reuters.com was a target of a hack on Tuesday (Aug. 14, 2012). Our blogging platform was compromised and a fabricated blog post saying Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal had died was illegally posted on a Reuters journalist's blog on Reuters.com," said a spokesperson.
"Reuters did not report the false story and the post was immediately deleted. We are working to address the problem," the spokesperson added.