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Morocco's king returns home after weeks-long absence

© AFP | Morocco's King Mohammed VI arrives for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on April 10, 2018 at the Elysee Palace in Paris

RABAT (AFP) - 

King Mohammed VI has returned to Morocco after an absence of several weeks during which he underwent a heart operation in a Paris clinic, sources close to the palace said Tuesday.

Media reports said Mohammed's private plane landed on Monday night in Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco, and he was expected Tuesday in the northern city of Fez for official functions.

The 54-year-old king has not been in Morocco at least since February 26 when he underwent the operation to normalise his heart beat.

Mohammed, who has ruled since his father Hassan's death in July 1999, would resume his normal activities after a period of rest prescribed by his doctors, according to an official statement issued at the time.

The king's lengthy absence stirred rumours on social media and also raised questions in diplomatic and business circles.

A frequent visitor to France, Mohammed's first official function since the operation was an April 10 meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

He did not, however, attend the Arab summit held Sunday in the Saudi city of Dhahran.

© 2018 AFP