Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, who serves as the kingdom’s Vice Prime Minister and Interior Minister, is in the United States for “routine” medical tests, state media reported on Friday.
According to a report by the Associated Press, state television said that the 78-year-old prince is undergoing tests at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. The kingdom’s media didn’t go into any more detail than that, only saying that the tests were “routine” and that Nayef will likely be at the clinic only for a “few days”.
State media went on to say that Crown Prince Nayef arrived in Ohio from Morocco, where he had reportedly traveled for a personal vacation.
“The Clinic has been the hospital of choice for Saudi Arabian royalty since the 1970s, when the late King Khalid Ibn Abdul Aziz chose the Clinic for bypass surgery after a massive heart attack. The king displayed his gratitude with a $500,000 donation to the hospital.”
In October, Nayef was named crown prince, heir to the aging King Abudall, following the death of ex-Crown Prince Sultan, who died of colon cancer while in New York last year.
Crown Prince Nayef is largely considered to be a pivotal figure in the oil-rich kingdom, and is considered to be highly conservative by many. Nayef often oversees the daily affairs of the kingdom in absence of King Abdullah, who reportedly suffers from frequent back problems. The heir is also noted for leading the charge on Saudi crackdowns on al-Qaeda.
via Associated Press