Abbas taken to Baltimore hospital for routine exams
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Abbas taken to Baltimore hospital for routine exams

Palestinian leader, originally scheduled to fly to South America Thursday, says he took advantage of US visit for check-up, with positive results

PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a United Nations Security Council concerning meeting concerning issues in the Middle East, at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a United Nations Security Council concerning meeting concerning issues in the Middle East, at UN headquarters, February 20, 2018 in New York City.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was taken to a Baltimore hospital Thursday for a routine checkup, Palestinians said.

Abbas, 82, said he had been given a clean bill of health after visiting Johns Hopkins Hospital while on a visit to the US to address the United Nations.

“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.”

Initial reports had suggested that Abbas was rushed to the hospital, but Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein Al Sheikh said the visit was routine.

A spokesperson for Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital, which treats many international patients, could not confirm Abbas’s visit.

Abbas had originally been scheduled to travel to Venezuela on Thursday, according to Reuters.

In July, Abbas was briefly admitted to a West Bank hospital after suffering from “exhaustion” following a period of heightened tensions with Israel over the Temple Mount.

The PA president, who is a heavy smoker and is overweight, was treated several years ago for prostate cancer, and has 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.

Eric Cortellessa and Khaleb Abu Toameh contributed to this report

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