Iraq Presidential Office publishes pictures showing ailing Jalal Talabani recovering from stroke
BAGHDAD - Anatolia News Agency
The pictures published by the Presidential Office show Jalal Talabani (C) in the company of his medical team. AA photoThe Iraqi Presidential Office has published on its website the first pictures of ailing President Jalal Talabani since he was taken to the hospital late Dec. 17 after suffering a stroke. The official website said that the Iraqi president, currently in Germany for treatment, was responding to medical treatment and his health was steadily improving.
The head of the medical team, Najmaldin Karim, was cited by the website as saying the 79-year-old Talabani would be able to return to Iraq as soon as his treatment was finished. Karim is a neurosurgeon and also governor of the Iraqi province of Kirkuk. He oversees Talabani's medical care when he is in Iraq, although the president's treatment after his stroke has been carried out in Germany.
Many rumors speculated that Talabani had died as his convalescence coincided with one of the deadliest periods in Iraq with the rise of sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites. The absence of the veteran Kurdish leader also came during a dangerous escalation in the confrontation between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).