Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas unexpectedly extended his stay in the US when he was taken to a Baltimore hospital on Thursday for what PA sources called “routine checks”.
Abbas was in the US to address the United Nations General Assembly earlier in the week and was scheduled to travel to Venezuela on Thursday but was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore instead. PA sources refuted earlier reports that the 82-year-old leader was rushed to the hospital.
“Our presence here was a suitable chance for us to make some medical checks,” Abbas told Palestine TV, according to a Reuters translation. “We actually made those checks and we are out now and, thank God, all results are positive and are assuring. This is God’s blessing on us.”
No details were given describing the types of tests performed.
Abbas is scheduled to fly back to Israel on Friday.
Abbas is overweight and a heavy smoker. He was treated several years ago for prostate cancer and also had a stent inserted in his heart to treat artery blockage. In October 2016, he underwent an emergency cardiac catheterization suffering exhaustion and chest pains.