(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the recovery of his father — King Salman bin Abdulaziz — from a recent illness, putting at ease concerns over the health of the 88-year-old monarch of the world’s largest oil exporter.

MBS, as the crown prince is widely known, and other officials “extended their praise and thanks to God for the recovery” of the king during a weekly cabinet session on Tuesday, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. King Salman chaired the meeting by tuning in remotely, the first time he has been seen leading the gathering since he started receiving medical treatment a little over a week ago.

The ruler’s health had been in question since May 19, when he began undergoing medical tests and taking antibiotics after suffering from high fever, joint pain and lung inflammation. He was being treated at a palace in Jeddah and there had been no word on his health since then.

The week-long period of silence over King Salman’s health intensified interest in Saudi Arabia’s leadership and specifically in Prince Mohammed, who is next in line to the throne. Though he’s effectively been running the country since 2017, becoming the official ruler of the kingdom would have consolidated his power and paved the way for him to focus on tightening his control domestically.

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Questions over the king’s health and how an empowered MBS may rule his country came as Iran was rocked by the death of President Ebrahim Raisi and other top government officials in a helicopter crash. That added a fresh layer of uncertainty across the broader Middle East as many speculated over the outcome of a transition of leadership in two of the region’s biggest powers.

With the Saudi king now appearing to be in better health, attention will likely shift to presidential elections in Iran next month and to the escalating Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. 

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King Salman has ruled over the kingdom since 2015. Prince Mohammed was appointed crown prince in 2017 and has managed most day-to-day affairs since then.

(Updates with regional context starting in fourth paragraph)

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