- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2007

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was in stable condition today, recuperating from exhaustion and lung inflammation at an Amman hospital, his personal physician and other officials said.

The physician, Yedkar Hikmat, said rumors about a heart problem were “categorically wrong.”

“This is not true at all, the president’s case doesn’t involve any heart problems. He did not suffer any heart attack. His heart is 100 percent good,” Dr. Hikmat said.

Mr. Talabani, 73, fell ill yesterday and was unconscious when he was rushed to a hospital in Sulaimaniyah, his hometown in northeastern Iraq. He was then flown to neighboring Jordan later in the day for extensive examination.

Mr. Talabani’s spokesman, Hiwa Othman, speaking from Baghdad, denied that the Iraqi president had been moved to intensive care, and said the president remained in a regular hospital room.

“He’s very good. He’s stable,” Mr. Othman said.

Saad al-Hayyani, the Iraqi ambassador to Jordan, said Mr. Talabani “was found to have suffered exhaustion and a mild inflammation of the lungs.”

“He lost fluids, but his heart is very well and there’s no need for him to be flown anywhere, whether the United States or elsewhere, for further treatment.”

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Mr. Talabani was in stable condition.

“He’s in good spirits. He’ll be back in Baghdad soon to resume his responsibilities,” Mr. Zebari told reporters during a visit to Denmark.

A statement from Mr. Talabani’s office said that he has “suffered from extreme fatigue during the few past days and he was dehydrated.”

Chief Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh told reporters that King Abdullah II, who visited the Iraqi president today, had instructed doctors at the hospital to provide Talabani with all possible care.

“He is a guest and a dear friend of Jordan, and we will do everything for him,” Mr. Judeh said.

Mr. Talabani was in Sulaimaniyah, his hometown, when he collapsed yesterday. The previous day he appeared there in public and met U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq.

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