DUBAI - Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah appeared on state television late on Wednesday for the first time since having back surgery on Monday, receiving other members of the al-Saud ruling family in apparently good spirits.
The octogenarian ruler of the world's top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam had surgery in Riyadh to tighten the ligament around a vertebra, less than a year after having two back operations in the United States.
The monarch was shown on state television, in pictures carried by the state news agency and Saudi-owned newspapers bare headed and white robed in a hospital bed chatting with a group of senior royals.
The kingdom's ruler appoints and chairs the cabinet and can make laws by decree. However, he unofficially requires consensus among the ruling family and top clerics before making big changes.