Saudi king heads to US for medical tests

November 22, 2010 14:27

Saudi Arabia — The palace says Saudi Arabia's 86-year-old King Abdullah has left for the United States for medical tests over a blood clot.

In a statement, the palace says that before flying to the US on Monday, Abdullah gave temporary authority to "administer the nation's affairs" to Crown Prince Sultan, his half-brother and heir to the throne.Saudi authorities have been unusually open about the monarch's condition, apparently in a bid to dispell speculation. Late Sunday, Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabeeah went on state TV saying Abdullah suffered a slipped disc and that a blood clot was pressing nerves in his back, causing him pain.

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