Iraqi president Jalal Talabani is beginning to be able to speak after suffering a stroke in December, his doctors said Sunday.
"He's improving," said Dr. Najmaldin Karim, a neurosurgeon who is overseeing Talabani's recovery. "He's talking. He's conversing. He understands when he's spoken to. It's a good development. We're very encouraged and excited by this."
The president is currently in Germany for treatment, the Associated Press reported.
Dr. Karim said that he hopes the president will return home "relatively soon," and is in touch with Talabani's medical team in Berlin daily, Reuters reported.
The 79-year-old leader suffered a stroke December 17, though there has been little information released about his condition or his ability to return to his post, prompting intense speculation amongst Iraqis, according to the AP.
Talabani is seen as a peacemaker in Iraq, though the role of the president is a mostly ceremonial one.
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