Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah is suffering from pneumonia, Riyadh stated Friday, and his condition has been stabilized with the help of a breathing tube.
Late Thursday night, the monarch - who is in his nineties - was admitted to a military hospital for medical checks and was diagnosed with the condition.
The statement added that he wanted the public to know of his medical state due to his commitment “to be transparent in all public matters.”
The health of the monarch is a matter of national importance in the kingdom, where the King has absolute power; internationally, the country's future could determine both the future of much of the world's oil and the Middle East's political clout in fighting terror groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS.
King Abdullah has suffered from multiple bouts of bad heath since his accession to the throne in 2005 - including being declared "clinically dead" in 2012 - and he has named Crown Prince Salman, who is in his seventies, as his next immediate successor.
It is unclear who will take the throne after Salman, however, as the line of succession through the generations of Saudi Arabia's founder Ibn Saud is thinning; few of the sons are still alive.