February 26, 2018 / 10:54 PM / 24 days ago

Morocco's king undergoes successful heart surgery - state news agency

RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco’s King Mohammed VI underwent successful heart surgery in France on Monday, state news agency MAP said.

FILE PHOTO - Morocco's King Mohammed VI arrives for a lunch at the Elysee Palace as part of the One Planet Summit in Paris, France, December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

The 54-year old king was treated at a Paris clinic after suffering from a “heart rhythm disorder” on Jan. 20, the agency said, adding he had been diagnosed with an “atrial flutter”.

The surgery normalized the heart rhythm, and the king would be able to resume his duties without any restrictions, MAP said.

The king, who heads the Muslim world’s longest-serving dynasty, took office in 1999 after his father, Hassan II, died of a heart attack.

The political and social stability of Morocco is closely watched by Western governments as it is the only country in North Africa where jihadist groups have failed to gain a foothold, and is an important partner against Islamist militancy in terms of intelligence-sharing.

The kingdom has escaped mass uprisings such as in Egypt, Libya or other Arab countries, but protests have erupted since 2016 in some rural areas against poverty and unemployment.

Morocco has averted previous protests with a combination of limited constitutional reforms, heavy policing and hefty public spending.

Reporting by Ulf Laessing, Nayera Abdallah and Zakia Abdennebi; Editing by Peter Cooney

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