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Nation elated as King Abdullah leaves hospital

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah left hospital yesterday after recovering from a successful back surgery, a royal court statement said.
King Abdullah has thanked Saudis, world leaders and all others who prayed for his speedy recovery and inquired about his health condition, the royal court said.
The operation took place at King Abdul Aziz Medical City in Riyadh on Nov. 17.
Saudis and expatriates were overjoyed hearing the news of the king’s departure from hospital and wished him good health.
“This is the happiest news which I heard today,” said one Saudi. “I am sure many others would have the same feelings,” he added.
“I thank God for the king’s quick recovery,” said another Saudi while commending King Abdullah’s efforts in the service of Islam and Muslims all over the world.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa visited King Abdul Aziz Medical City on Wednesday to get reassured about the king’s health.
King Hamad met Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, state minister and commander of the National Guard, at the hospital.
King Abdullah underwent the back surgery last month to tighten a loose ligament. The king had already undergone a similar operation in October 2011.
In November 2010 he was operated on in New York for a slipped disc complicated by a blood clot that put pressure on his spine, and underwent a further operation the following month before convalescing for a month in Morocco.
King Abdullah is considered the most popular ruler of Saudi Arabia. He issued a series of decrees in March 2011, announcing a number of social welfare programs worth more than SR 600 billion. They included plans to construct 500,000 new housing units in different parts of the Kingdom at a cost of SR 250 billion.
King Abdullah also launched the largest expansions of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah in history to accommodate more worshippers.
US Forbes magazine recently named the Saudi leader as the Arab world's top and the world's seventh personality for the fourth year in a row. Chosen among 71 international candidates by the renowned publication, King Abdullah was described as enjoying a high prestige in the Islamic world in his capacity as the person in charge of maintaining, safeguarding and serving the Muslims' two most sacred places.
The magazine said the classification focused on state leaders, financiers and others who not only cast influence on but also run the entire world.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal congratulated the king for his recovery and sound health. “The joy of the occasion embraces all the people in the Kingdom in general and the people in the Makkah province in particular,” the prince said.
Those who congratulated the king on the occasion included Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom Prince Muhammad bin Nawaf, Eastern Province Gov. Prince Muhammad bin Fahd and Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

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