Saudi King Abdullah was said to be dying of cancer.
An opposition research group said Abdullah was diagnosed with lung cancer.The Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs, quoting sources in Saudi Arabia and the United States, said Abdullah was told he could be dead by the end of 2014.
“The king has been told by his medical team he may have as little as six months left to live,” the institute said.
In a statement on April 17, the institute, aligned with the Shi’ite opposition, said Abdullah was “suffering from terminal lung cancer.” The statement said Abdullah, known as a chain smoker, was seen wearing a breathing tube during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 28. The king was also seen with the tube on April 4 when Abdullah returned to Riyad from his retreat in Rawdat Khuraim.
“The recent scramble to designate a line of succession is not surprising given that King Abdullah has only a few months left, due to advancing age in addition to his terminal illness,” institute policy analyst Rachel Hertzman said.
The institute said the king’s deterioration sparked a series of
appointments. Over the last month, Abdullah, reported to be from 90 to 98
years old, appointed his half-brother Prince Muqrin as successor to the
crown prince and dismissed intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.
Abdullah was expected to announce another series of appointments over
the next few days. The institute said the appointments have intensified the
power struggle within the royal family.
“Observers expect the news of Abdullah’s condition to lead to intense
vying for power among the members of the vast ruling family,” the institute