First non-Arab, Kurdish Iraqi president passed away

Today, former Iraqi President and Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani passed away at the age of 83. Talabani was the country’s first non-Arab and Kurdish president and served in the position for 9 years.
Talabani (left), Abbas (center), Barak (right) Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Today (Tuesday), former Iraqi President and Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani passed away at the age of 83 in a Berlin hospital. Talabani was elected in 2005 and was forced to retire in 2014 in order to focus on his health after suffering from a stroke.

Talabani was born in 1933 next to Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region in Iraq. He was the first non-Arab and Kurdish President of Iraq and was elected 2 years after the US invasion that overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime.

In Israel, the Kurdish independence advocate will be remembered as the Iraqi leader who shook the hands of Israeli Defense Minister at the time Ehud Barak. Talabani was considered among the general public as a person of compromise and was accepted by both Shiites and Sunnis in the country.



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