By P.K. Abdul Ghafour
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah left New York Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday following a successful back surgery, the Royal Court said Wednesday in a statement.
It said the king would spend a period of convalescence at his New York residence. King Abdullah thanked world leaders for sending messages of good wishes and Saudis for their prayers.
Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, expressed his happiness at King Abdullah’s recovery and hoped the king would soon return to the Kingdom to continue its development march.
“I am unable to express my feelings of joy after seeing King Abdullah leave the hospital in good health,” the crown prince said in a press statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
Prince Sultan prayed that God would bless the king with long life to lead the Kingdom to greater progress and prosperity. He said the king had given his instructions while preparing the 2011 budget. “This shows his desire to realize his development goals and improve the living standard of citizens,” he added. The crown prince also referred to King Abdullah’s message to GCC leaders when they assembled earlier this month for their annual summit conference in Abu Dhabi. “The message reflected the king’s desire to strengthen GCC unity,” he added.
Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif also expressed his profound happiness over the king’s recovery and thanked the Almighty for his blessing. “We pray to God for the return of our leader to our country with full health as quickly as possible to continue his endeavors for its development.”
Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman was happy over the king’s quick recovery. “It’s a blessing from God that we have got a unique leader like King Abdullah who has dedicated his life in the service of the Ummah. We love him and pray for his long life and good health,” he said.
The king flew to New York for medical treatment on Nov. 22 following a slipped disc and a blood clot pressing on the nerves in his back. He then underwent two surgeries. The first surgery at the New York Presbyterian Hospital extracted the clot and corrected the disc. The second surgery was conducted on Dec. 3 to “stabilize several vertebrae on the spinal cord to complement the previous surgery on Nov. 24,” the SPA said.
Saudis and expatriates have expressed their joy over the king’s recovery. “We are extremely happy to see the king out of hospital after gaining full recovery,” said Abdul Ilah Saaty, dean of the College of Business in Rabigh. “Every citizen and expatriate in this country is overwhelmed with joy hearing this good news.”
Saaty said the king’s good health would inject confidence that the Kingdom’s development plans would continue. “This is a historic day for everybody. We are now looking forward to King Abdullah’s return,” he added.
Prominent Eastern Province businessman Abdullah Al-Saihati described King Abdullah as the heart of Kingdom. “He lives in everybody’s heart and we pray for his quick return with good health,” he told Arab News.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah received calls from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. The Arab and Gulf leaders congratulated the king on leaving the hospital and wished him good health.