Jalal Talabani in Germany for stroke treatment

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2013, 4:40am


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

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 on to several rehabilitation procedures."

Germany has some of the world's top medical institutions and foreign leaders often seek them out for care.

Talabani's health has major political implications in Iraq, where he has sought to bring together feuding politicians, Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and Arabs and Kurds.

Born in November 1933, he had 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 seeking treatment for a variety of ailments.