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Body of Iraq’s Talabani arrives in Kurdistan region for burial

6 October 2017 14:39

 

The Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah is hosting a funeral ceremony for Jalal Talabani, a former Iraqi president and veteran Kurdish leader, with foreign political personalities in attendance.

Talabani passes in Germany on Tuesday, aged 83. His decades-long political carrier saw him playing a key role in Kurdish and national politics. The late Kurdish leader, who became the president of Iraq in 2005, has been hailed as a unifying figure in national politics.

His body arrived on Friday at the Sulaimaniyah airport, where dignitaries had gathered to pay respect to the late Iraqi president.

A 21 gun-shot salute was given for the coffin draped in the Kurdish flag. A military band also played the Iraqi national anthem.

The ceremony was joined by the region’s President Massoud Barzani and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

Iraqi President Fuad Massoum, Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji, and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi represented Baghdad at the event.

Among the foreign dignitaries were Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States, as well as delegates of other states and organizations.

Thousands of mourners were also waiting for his body to arrive in Suleimaniyeh for the procession.

The funeral served as a somber occasion amid regional and international outrage over the region’s recent controversial independence referendum.

Kurdistan held the vote on September 25, despite considerable warnings at home and abroad.

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