Iraq's President Talabani hospitalised after stroke

Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani is in hospital after suffering a stroke.

The 79-year-old is in a “critical but stable condition” according to government sources and state television.

Talabani is a veteran of the Kurdish guerrilla movement and became the country’s first ever Kurdish president in 2005.

Talabani has helped to negotiate relations between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims and Kurds.

Under a power-sharing agreement, the next president would also have to be a Kurd if Talabani is unable to continue.

It is a largely ceremonial role, but the president does have some constitutional powers.

Over the years, Talabani has suffered a number of health problems and had heart surgery in the US in 2008.

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