Germany to Treat Ailing Iraqi President

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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Iraqi officials say President Jalal Talabani is showing signs of improvement and responding to treatment after being hospitalized for a stroke. Doctors in Baghdad say he will be transferred to Germany within a day for treatment.

Deputy Health Minister Issam Namiq said Wednesday that medical teams from Germany and Iran have arrived to help with the Mr. Talabani's care and that a British team was on its way to Iraq.

The 79-year-old president was taken to a Baghdad hospital late Monday and given treatment for blocked arteries. By Tuesday, officials said he was in stable condition.

The president's role in Iraq is largely ceremonial, but Mr. Talabani, an ethnic Kurd, has used his position to mediate disputes among the country's various ethnic and religious groups.

Mr. Talabani has dealt with several health problems in recent years. In 2008, he underwent heart surgery in the United States. He made a 2007 visit to a U.S. clinic for weight loss treatment, and the same year spent more than two weeks in Jordan receiving treatment for exhaustion and dehydration.