By John Lee.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (pictured) has suffered a stroke and is being treated in hospital.
A statement on his website said he was admitted on Monday night suffering from “fatigue and tiredness”. His medical team is trying to stabilise him.
According to the report from BBC, Mr Talabani has struggled with his health in recent years and has often been treated abroad.
Talabani, 79, is a member of Iraq’s Kurdish minority, and is Iraq’s first president from the ethnic group. He has frequently used the post to mediate between Iraq’s various sects and ethnic groups.
The statement said Mr Talabani’s efforts to forge a consensus in Iraq and the “consequent fatigue and tiredness” had led to a “health emergency”.
A spokesman for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Ali al-Moussawi, told AP that doctors were deciding whether to continue treating him in Baghdad or to fly him abroad for medical care.
Mr Maliki is said to be at the hospital.
The president underwent heart surgery in the US in 2008, and was treated for dehydration and exhaustion in Jordan in 2007.
The presidency is a largely ceremonial post, although it does retain some powers under the constitution. The president must sign off on laws approved by parliament and has the power to block executions.
(Sources: BBC, The Guardian)