He was unconscious as he was rushed to a local hospital, but recovered to be flown to Jordan. Doctors said he suffered from exhaustion and dehydration caused by lung and sinus infections.

 

He returned home 17 days later, flying directly to Sulaimaniyah where thousands of Kurds greeted him.

 

Meeting with Blair

 

Your Views

"Let the people of Iraq vote if they want the US to stay or leave"

Bob Kaye, Bohemia, US

Send us your views

Talabani met Tony Blair, the visiting British prime minister, in Baghdad on Saturday and the two conducted a news conference along with Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister.

 

The Iraqi president, pale and slightly unkempt, was angry when answering a reporter's question on the chances of a coup toppling al-Maliki's government.

 

"A coup is an illusion that will never materialise," he said.

 

"If it becomes necessary, hundreds of thousands of popular and military forces will be prepared to stand by the government against any coup attempt."

 

Talabani will be the second top Iraqi politician to fly to the US for medical reasons in four days.

 

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a senior Shia politician, flew there aboard a US military aircraft on Wednesday for further tests to determine if he is suffering from lung cancer, according to members of his staff.

 

Al-Hakim is the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council in Iraq, the country's largest Shia party and a partner in al-Maliki's coalition government.