King Abdullah
Saudi King Abdullah, seen here in August 2012, will return home Monday after nearly a month-long private trip to Morocco © Fayez Nureldine - AFP/File
King Abdullah
Last updated: September 24, 2012

Saudi king to return home after month-long trip

Saudi King Abdullah will return home Monday after nearly a month-long private trip to Morocco, a Saudi official told AFP.

The 88-year-old monarch will likely travel directly to the holy city of Medina where he is expected to "lay the foundation stone for the expansion of the Prophet's mosque," one of Islam's three oldest mosques in the world, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Local newspapers also reported the king would return Monday.

King Abdullah is a frequent visitor to Morocco where his family owns palaces in Casablanca, the economic capital, and Agadir to the southwest.

King Abdullah left the new heir to the throne, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who is also deputy prime minister and defence minister, in charge of the oil-rich kingdom during his absence, the SPA news agency reported.

The trip also marked the first time the Saudi monarch travelled abroad since he appointed Salman, 76, first in line to the throne, in June following the death of crown prince Nayef ben Abdel Aziz at the age of 79.

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