(File image) Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Addis Ababa - A government spokesperson says Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is in “very good health” and will return to office in a few days.

The statement on Thursday follows reports that the longtime ruler is in life-threatening condition in a Belgian hospital.

Bereket Simon, the country's communications minister, says Zenawi is following his doctor's advice to rest after suffering from exhaustion that Bereket said was a result of long years of service without a break.

The spokesperson declined to provide more details on what the prime minister suffers from, or how long he has sought treatment. He did say the medical condition was “a recent phenomenon”.

Zenawi has ruled Ethiopia since 1991. - Sapa-AP