Iraqi President Improving After Stroke

Posted December 19th, 2012 at 3:40 am (UTC-5)
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Iraqi officials say President Jalal Talabani is responding to treatment and showing signs of improvement Wednesday, after being hospitalized for a stroke.

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.