Iraqi president suffers stroke

The Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is in a "stable but critical condition" after suffering a stroke, according to government sources. He is being treated in hospital.


Who is President Jalal Talabani?

The Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is being treated in hospital for an unspecified health problem. Here are some facts about his rise to prominence:

  • A veteran of the guerilla movement for Kurdish independence
  • Founder of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan - one of two political parties in Iraq's Kurdish region
  • Helped to negotiate Iraq's interim constitution after the 2003 Iraq War
  • The presidency is largely ceremonial, but Talibani has used it to mediate in ethnic and sectarian conflicts