ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - The body of deceased Kurdish leader and former President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, arrived in the Kurdistan Region on Friday to be buried in a special ceremony in the Sulaimani Province.
Talabani died while receiving treatment at a hospital in the German capital of Berlin on Tuesday. He suffered a stroke in late 2012 which led to health issues in the following years.
Hundreds of foreign diplomats and representatives are attending the ceremony. Among those who will be present when Talabani's remains arrived in Sulaimani are the UN representative in Iraq and neighboring countries' diplomats. The funeral is being held on Friday.
Talabani flew to Germany on Sep. 11 to conduct medical tests as follow up treatment for his 2012 stroke.
Talabani, who was also the Secretary-General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), was the sixth President of Iraq since the country was established in 1920. He was also the first non-Arab politician elected to the position. He served in office from 2005 until 2014.
The Kurdish leader has stayed out of politics since late 2012, after his stroke, and regularly traveled to Germany to receive medical treatment.
After 18 months of treatment abroad, Talabani returned to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on July 19, 2014.
The PUK is the third-largest party in the Kurdistan Region, with 18 out of 111 seats in Parliament. The party has been facing internal political turmoil and disunity since Talabani's health condition deteriorated.
Editing by G.H. Renaud