Jalal Talabani who served as the president of Iraq between 2005 and 2014 and was the first Kurd to hold the post died at the age of 83 in a hospital in Germany on 3 October 2017.
First appointed as the country’s president during the Transitional Period in April 2005, he was re-elected twice, in 2006 and 2010 and had previously served as a member of the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council.
He suffered a stroke in December 2012 and spent a year undergoing treatment in Germany.
Talabani was succeeded as Iraq’s president in July 2014. An advocate of Kurdish rights for nearly five decades, he was the founder and secretary-general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main parties controlling the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
The head of the UN mission to Iraq, Jan Kubis, expresses his deepest condolences on the passing of Jalal Talabani, who he described as “a historic symbol of Kurdish struggle for their rights, against dictatorship and for democracy, and a leading voice of moderation, dialogue, mutual understanding and respect in Iraq’s contemporary politics.”
Iraqi state-run TV paid tribute to former Iraqi president; the reports also offered condolences to the Iraqi people and Talabani’s family. It also hailed his “patriotic role in uniting the Iraqi people” during his rule.