"According to Iraqi laws, a new president must be elected within 30 days after the parliament speaker was chosen. "
Baghdad, July 19 - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani returned home from Germany Saturday after recovering for 18 months from a stroke, the state media reported.

Talabani arrived at the Sulaimaniyah city airport, some 330 km north-east of the capital Baghdad.

He is scheduled to be transferred immediately to his residency, Xinhua reported citing the state-run Iraqiya channel as saying.

In December 2012, Talabani was admitted to a Baghdad hospital after showing signs of fatigue and was later found to be suffering from arteriosclerosis because of tiredness, though his condition was described as stable.

The 81-year-old president had various health problems and had undergone several medical procedures before 2012.

Talabani is a former rebel leader fighting former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's government.

Founder and secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a main Kurdish political party in Iraq, Talabani has been an advocate for Kurdish rights and democracy for more than 50 years.

He is also the first Kurd to become the country's president, though it was a largely ceremonial position.

Talabani's return follows Wednesday's election of Iraq's new parliament speaker.

After electing a Sunni speaker and two deputies, the lawmakers overcame their first obstacle in forming a new government that could include all Iraqi factions.

According to Iraqi laws, a new president must be elected within 30 days after the parliament speaker was chosen.

Despite his limited power, Talabani is respected by many Iraqis as a rare unifying figure that is able to rise above the ethnic and sectarian rifts that still divide the country.


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