On the advice of his doctor, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica canceled the final leg of a tour that earlier took him to China and Spain, officials here said Monday.

Mujica, 78, was due to spend most of this week in Italy.

"It is made known that, on orders to rest, the president of the republic has suspended ... participating in the Mediterranean Prize ceremony as well as the meetings he would have had with Italian authorities," his office said in a communique.

Uruguay's head of state will rest in Madrid until Wednesday before returning to Montevideo, the statement said.

Mujica last November had an arterial blockage in his right leg that prevented him - at the last moment - from undertaking an official visit to Spain, a trip that he finally made over the past several days.

At that time, his personal physician, Dr. Raquel Panone, who is also traveling with him on his current trip, recommended that he rest and, above all, avoid getting on a plane due to the danger of experiencing a blood clot.

The president, who on Sunday visited the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia, suffers from chronic health problems due in part to the 14 years he spent in prison for belonging to the Tupamaro urban guerrilla group, most of them during Uruguay's 1973-1985 military regime.

In Italy, Mujica was scheduled to meet with President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta as well as to receive the Mediterranean Prize at a ceremony in Naples. EFE