Published: Wed, October 04, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Kurdish leader and ex-Iraqi president Jalal Talabani dies

Kurdish leader and ex-Iraqi president Jalal Talabani dies

Iraqi former President and the leader of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Jalal Talabani died Tuesday, the Iraqi official television reported.

Prince Turki said that Iraq's neighbors, Turkey, Syria, and Iran, which also have significant Kurdish minority groups among their residents, would not allow an independent Kurdish state to be established in the north of Iraq. He often went to Germany for medical treatment.

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While remaining nominally head of the PUK, Talabani withdrew from public life after suffering a stroke in December 2012.

Talabani, 83, was Iraq's president from 2005 to 2014 and a key figure in Iraqi Kurdistan, where voters last week overwhelmingly backed independence in a disputed referendum.

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Saying that Kurdistan is "paying the price" for proceeding with the referendum in the face of widespread opposition, at home, regionally, and internationally, Ahmed decried the formation of the Political Leadership without consultation with the political parties.

Talabani, who was born in November 1933 near Erbil, now the seat of the Kurdistan regional government in northern Iraq, served as the first non-Arab president of Iraq.

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He won a second term as President the following year and was re-elected in 2010.

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