Ailing Iraqi President Talabani in Germany for further treatment after stroke

Fourth Estate Cooperative Staff

Berlin, Germany (4E) – Nearly three days after suffering a stroke and being admitted to Baghdad Medical City hospital where he also briefly went into coma, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Thursday arrived in Germany for treatment.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle confirmed Talabani’s arrival in Berlin and wished him quick and full recovery. “President Jalal Talabani left Thursday Baghdad’s Madinat al- Tib (or Medical City) Hospital, heading to the Federal Republic of Germany under the supervision of a specialized medical team,” his office earlier said in a statement posted on the presidency website.

Doctors in Germany later said that Talabani was allowed to travel only when his condition was sufficiently improved thanks to efforts of Iraqi and foreign medical teams.

Talabani suffered several health problems and underwent medical procedures in foreign countries in recent years.

However, the stroke came at a time when he was playing a crucial role of mediator between Iraq’s Arab-led central government and the semi-autonomous oil-rich Kurdish state over a territorial dispute in which the government was trying to take greater control of security of the northern region. Borth Kurds and Arabs claim ownership of oil-rich Kirkuk city where Kurdish forces are stationed since 2003.

In the Talabani-brokered deal, both sides have been urged to pull out their troops from the disputed region. However, no deadline had been set.

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