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Ailing Iraq president arrives in Germany

BAGHDAD/BERLIN , Dec 20, 2012, Reuters: 23:33 IST
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has arrived in Germany for medical treatment, the German government confirmed on Thursday, after he suffered a stroke earlier in the week.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a statement saying that Talabani, the 79-year-old Kurdish statesman who has acted as a mediator between Iraq’s Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds, was in Germany.

Sources told Reuters that Talabani was being treated at Berlin’s Charite hospital. A black Mercedes with Iraqi diplomatic license plates was seen leaving the Virchow campus of Charite on Thursday morning.

“I can confirm that the Iraqi President Talabani is in Germany for medical treatment,” Westerwelle said. “I wish him a rapid and full recovery.”

Talabani was admitted to hospital in Iraq on Monday night and his office said earlier that his health had improved and he was being transferred outside the country.

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