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IRAQ Talabani responding well to treatment

He has passed the difficult stages faster than expected, presidency website says

AFP
January 6, 2013

Baghdad: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is responding well to treatment in Germany after suffering a stroke and has moved on to rehabilitation, his office said in a statement on Saturday.

Talabani, 79, travelled to Berlin last month after what state television reported was a stroke, the latest in a series of health problems he has suffered in recent years.

“The medical team that treated President Jalal Talabani confirmed that his excellency’s health is good, and his response to the treatment has been excellent,” a statement on the Iraqi presidency’s website said.

“He has passed the difficult stages faster than expected, and that has allowed for ... moving to several rehabilitation procedures.”

Germany, Europe’s top economy, has a number of world-class medical institutions and foreign dignitaries frequently seek out clinics in the country for care.

Talabani’s health has major political implications in Iraq, where he has sought to bring together various feuding politicians, Sunnis and Shiites, and Arabs and Kurds.

Talabani, who was born in November 1933, underwent successful heart surgery in the United States in August 2008. The previous year, he was evacuated to neighbouring Jordan for treatment for dehydration and exhaustion.

He has also travelled to clinics in Europe in the past for treatment for a variety of ailments.

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