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Gabon president in Morocco to convalesce

AFP  |  Riyadh 

Gabon's Ali arrived in on Thursday to convalesce after a month's treatment at a Saudi hospital, a Moroccan diplomatic source said.

Bongo, 59, had been at the hospital in since October 24 when he fell ill at an economic forum.

The official said had departed from Riyadh's airbase on Wednesday night, and that Saudi foreign ministry officials saw him off.

After his arrival in on Thursday morning, the Gabonese leader was taken to a hospital in the Moroccan capital, the diplomatic source said without giving further details.

His transfer was "in accordance with the wishes of his excellency Bongo, in agreement with the constitutional institutions of the Gabonese Republic, and in accordance with the opinion of the doctors," the Moroccan foreign ministry said in a statement.

After an extended period of silence, the Gabonese presidency eventually admitted was "seriously ill" and had undergone surgery, while insisting he was on the mend.

His recovery would take weeks, or even days, according to a source in the presidency.

The Gabonese and Morocco's have had a close relationship since their youth.

Over the past month, the Gabonese presidency has released only two statements on Bongo's health, first saying on October 29 that he had been taken to hospital "suffering from severe fatigue".

Then on November 11, Bongo's office admitted he was "seriously ill" and had undergone surgery.

Lack of official -- along with memories of the secrecy-shrouded death of Bongo's father in 2009 after decades at the helm -- had sparked numerous rumours, including speculation he was incapacitated or even dead.

Earlier this month, a foreign source close to Bongo and his French-born wife told AFP the Gabonese president had suffered a stroke.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 16:55 IST
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