May 29 (Reuters) - Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has returned from Spain, state-owned news Agency Angop said on Monday, following confirmation the 74-year-old was in the European country for health checks. Dos Santos, Africa’s second-longest ruler, had been in Spain since the start of May, for what was officially billed as a private, two-week overseas visit, has fuelled speculation about his health when he failed to return.
Angola confirmed for the first time on Monday that dos Santos, who has been the country’s leader for the last 38 years, was in Spain for medical reasons. The government said he had been unwell but declined to confirm local private media reports of a stroke.
The opposition party for the oil-producing southern African nation had previously called on the government to reveal the state of dos Santos’ health after reports he was seriously ill in a hospital in Spain. An Angola-related Facebook page said dos Santos had died, but the report was denied by his daughter Isabel via Instagram.
Dos Santos, a Soviet-trained oil engineer and veteran of the guerrilla war against Portuguese rule, has presided over an economic boom in Africa’s second-biggest oil producer since the end of a long civil war in 2002. (Reporting by Herculano Coroado; Writing by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by Andrew Hay)