Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhemi Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Saudi King Salman's hospitalisation has prompted postponement of a planned visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhemi to the kingdom, according to a senior Saudi official.

The Saudi monarch was admitted to a hospital in Riyadh for medical check ups on an inflammation in the gallbladder, a royal court said in a statement early Monday.

Al Kadhemi was due to visit Riyadh, marking his first trip abroad since becoming a prime minister in May.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan said both countries have agreed to postpone the visit until King Salman leaves the hospital.

"The kingdom appreciates the Iraqi prime minister's choice to visit it as the first country after he took his post," the minister said in a Twitter post Monday.

"In recognition of the paramount importance of this visit and out of a desire to provide all ways of success for it, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq has decided to postpone the visit until the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques leaves the hospital," he added.

In recent years, relations have thrived between Saudi Arabia and neighbouring Iraq. In 216, the kingdom reopened its embassy in Baghdad and senior officials from both countries have since exchanged visits.

Al Kadhemi, a former intelligence chief, was picked as a premier, ending a months-long political deadlock in Iraq amid street protests against rampant corruption and poor basic services.

He faces the daunting tasks of disarming Iran-backed militias and reviving an economy battered by a fight against terrorist Daesh and an outbreak of the new coronavirus.