Iraqi president Jalal Talabani is recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke on 18 December in Baghdad.

A statement from Talabani’s office said that he is in a stable condition in an intensive care unit and that he had suffered a “health emergency”.

Talabani’s health has been the subject of much speculation in recent years after undergoing heart surgery in the US in 2008. The role of president is largely ceremonial, but Talabani does retain limited powers.