Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Perspective: The life and times of Jalal Talabani

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, evacuated on Sunday to Jordan after falling ill, has a reputation as a peacemaker for trying to broker consensus between the country's bitterly divided factions.

Himself a Kurd, the 74-year-old former outlaw is the first non-Arab to lead an independent Arab majority state.

He became president in April 2005 after the first election in Iraq since a US-led invasion overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein, his sworn enemy.

Talabani was re-elected to the post a year later, cementing his people's powerful role on the national stage after suffering years as second-class citizens.

Read the rest at Yahoo News