Barzani Declares Seven Days of Mourning in Kurdistan for Loss of Talabani

Barzani Declares Seven Days of Mourning in Kurdistan for Loss of Talabani

Masoud Barzani declared on Tuesday (October 3) seven days of national mourning in the Kurdistan Region for the loss of Jalal Talabani, the former Iraqi President and the Secretary-General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Following Talabani’s death earlier on Tuesday, Barzani issued a video expressing condolences to the family of Talabani and PUK leadership officials.

“I lost my friend, brother and supporter. Along with each other we could overcome numerous obstacles during our struggle and endeavor,” said Barzani, referring to the former Iraqi President Talabani.

Barzani urged unity as a “fulfillment” for the death of Talabani and “selfless martyrs.”

Talabani, a veteran leader of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination, stepped down as president in 2014, after a long period of treatment following a stroke in 2012.

Talabani was born near Erbil, now the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, in 1933.

He was the first non-Arab president of Iraq, elected in 2005, two years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.