Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani is flying to Germany for further treatment after a reported stroke.
German doctors have assessed 79-year-old Jalal Talabani and decided his condition has improved sufficiently to permit travel.
A presidential statement said: “Treatment has allowed suitable conditions for his Excellency to be transferred outside the country.”
The president has struggled with his health in recent years and has often been treated abroad.
Jalal Talabani was reportedly rushed to the Baghdad Medical City on Monday evening.
Iraqi officials conceded in private that his condition was serious and state television reported that he had suffered a stroke.
A veteran of the Kurdish guerrilla movement, Jalal Talabani is Iraq’s first president from the ethnic group.
His illness comes at a time of heightened political tensions between Iraq’s Arab-led central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north.
In recent weeks, he has been mediating in the dispute triggered by the government’s attempt to take greater control of security in oil-rich territory around the city of Kirkuk, which is claimed by both Arabs and Kurds.
Kurdish forces have been deployed in the region since 2003.
A deal brokered by Jalal Talabani called on both sides to withdraw troops from the contested areas, though no deadline was set.
The president, whose powers are limited, is seen as a unifying figure who has helped prevent the disintegration of Iraq’s fragile national unity government, which includes Shia and Sunni Arabs as well as Kurds.