Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman delivered an annual speech to the nation traditionally given by the 90-year-old King Abdullah, who is in the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia over the weekend.
Saudi state TV on Tuesday carried the short speech, which is traditionally given by the king to the country's consultative Shura Council. Salman spoke briefly about security challenges facing the region and the slide in global oil prices.
The 79-year-old crown prince has increasingly presided over meetings at home and abroad in lieu of the monarch.
The official Saudi Press Agency says that during Monday's Cabinet meeting, the crown prince assured the ministers about Abdullah's health. He also visited the hospital in the capital Riyadh where the king is being treated to check on his health.