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KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Kuwait’s defense minister, the eldest son of the country’s ruling emir, has undergone surgery to have a tumor in his lungs removed.

The state-run KUNA news agency reported Tuesday that 70-year-old Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Sabah underwent the procedure. It did not say if the tumor was cancerous.

Sheikh Nasser is the son of Kuwait’s 89-year-old ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. He became defense minister in December, taking his first ministerial position in the U.S.-allied, oil-rich nation on the Persian Gulf.

While Sheikh Nasser is not currently in line for the throne, his appointment drew attention in the emirate as it came after Saudi King Salman similarly appointed his son to defense minister before upending succession and making him the crown prince.