Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

REVISITED

In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

Read more

FOCUS

Bosnia: Hopes of change among disempowered citizens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

¡Gracias, Gabo!

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Analysis Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Police seek arrest warrant for South Korea ferry captain

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

Middle east

Iraqi President Talabani hospitalised after stroke

©

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-19

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is in intensive care at a Baghdad hospital but in stable condition, his chief of staff told a news conference on Tuesday. Talabani, 79, suffered a "light stroke", said one close political associate.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who has mediated among Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish parties, was in hospital on Tuesday after suffering a stroke that left him in “critical but stable condition”, government officials and lawmakers said.

Without Talabani, Iraq would lose an influential peace-maker who often eased tensions in the fragile power-sharing government and negotiated in the growing rift over oil between Baghdad and the OPEC member country’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Reports on his medical condition varied. Three government sources said he was in critical condition, but his office said the 79-year-old president was stable under intensive medical supervision after receiving treatment for blocked arteries.

“President Talabani has suffered a light stroke. His condition is stable now and doctors are closely monitoring him and if they decide he should be transferred outside then he’ll go,” veteran Kurdish politician Mahmoud Othman, a close Talabani associate who was in the Baghdad hospital.

Talabani had been suffering from ill health for much of this year and received medical treatment overseas several times in the last two years.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited the hospital earlier on Tuesday.

Tough times ahead?

Under Iraq’s constitution, the parliament should elect a new president if the post becomes vacant and Iraq’s power-sharing deal calls for the presidency to go to a Kurd while two vice presidents are shared by a Sunni Muslim and a Shi’ite Muslim.

Political analysts said former Kurdistan prime minister Barham Salih is favoured candidate to replace Talabani should the president be incapacitated.

But his exit from Iraqi politics would come at a sensitive time and any succession would be complicated, a year after the last American troops left the country.

“He is the most moderate among Iraqi politicians and the most able to defuse political shocks. I do not think anyone will be able to fill his position as a president and as a politician,” Iraqi analyst Ibrahim al-Sumaidaie said.

Iraq law would see one of the vice presidents take over Talabani’s duties before the parliamentary vote. But Iraq’s Sunni Vice President, Tareq al-Hashemi, is outside the country after he fled to escape charges he ran death squads. He has been sentenced to death in absentia.

Any parliament vote would also be complex, with Maliki locked in a struggle with Sunni, Kurdish and some Shi’ite rivals in the power-sharing government. Talabani was crucial in helping the Shi’ite leader survive a no-confidence motion directed against him earlier this year.

Talabani also recently helped ease a military stand-off between Maliki’s central government and the president of autonomous Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, in their long-running dispute over oil-field rights and internal boundaries.

That situation remains sensitive after the two sides sent troops to reinforce positions along their internal frontier.

Kurdish forces said on Tuesday they fired on an Iraqi military helicopter near Sikanyan town just north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, to keep the aircraft from taking surveillance pictures of their military positions.

There were no casualties in the incident, authorities said.

A veteran of the Kurdish guerrilla movement, Talabani survived wars, exile and infighting in northern Iraq to become the country’s first Kurdish president a few years after the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2012-12-18

  • IRAQ

    Dozens killed in wave of Iraq bombings

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Series of blasts strikes Iraq’s Kirkuk

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    President in favour of France's Total working in its oilfields

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)