CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has left Heidelberg hospital in Germany, his information minister said on Saturday, three weeks after the 81-year-old leader underwent surgery on his gall bladder.
“President Mubarak has departed the hospital now and is on his way to Baden-Baden airport to fly back to Sharm El Sheikh,” Information Minister Anas el-Feki told Reuters.
Mubarak’s extended absence hit local financial markets and fuelled political uncertainty as Egyptians were reminded that the president, in power for almost three decades, has not named a successor.
Egypt’s stock market fell sharply in the days after the president’s operation to remove benign tissue, before steadying when images of him sitting and chatting with doctors were broadcast.
“The president has fully recovered from the effects of the successful surgical intervention conducted on him exactly three weeks ago,” Mubarak’s German doctor, Markus Buechler, told Egyptian television in a statement. “I have recommended however that the president continues his convalesence back home during the coming two weeks before he gradually returns to full and normal activity.”
Mubarak became president in October 1981 after the assassination of Anwar Sadat. He handed presidential powers to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif just before the operation and has not yet officially taken them back.