Saudi King Abdullah returns home after announcing reforms
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah returned to his kingdom on Wednesday following a three-month absence for medical treatment and after announcing a series of economic and social reforms, media reported.
The leader was greeted by hundreds of officials and citizens as his plane landed in Riyadh, DPA reported.
The Saudi monarch had travelled to New York in November for an operation to his back after he was diagnosed with a blood clot on the spine and a herniated disc. He then had a second operation to repair several vertebrae and travelled to Morocco to recuperate.
His return comes amid political unrest across the region, which has reached nearby Bahrain.
Ahead of his arrival, Saudi's state-run television announced that the king had increased spending on housing, education, and social welfare.
The boost increased Riyadh's housing fund by over 10 billion dollars, fixed a 15 per cent cost-of-living allowance for government employees, announced welfare for unemployed nationals for one year, and created over one thousand new jobs.
King Abdullah's health problems have raised concerns about who will succeed him as leader of the world's biggest oil exporter. He is believed to be 87 years old.