Iraq's Talabani Has Heart Surgery in the United States

Iraq's President Jalal Talabani has undergone successful surgery on a heart valve in the United States, his office announced Thursday.

A statement by the presidential press office said Talabani entered the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on Aug. 2 for knee surgery but "the medical team found out that he suffers from a problem in one of the heart valves."

"This has required surgery and it has been done with success," the statement added.

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The 74-year-old Talabani collapsed and was hospitalized in Jordan and the United States in February 2007 after suffering from what aides called exhaustion and dehydration caused by lung and sinus infections.

Mahmoud Othman, a prominent Kurdish lawmaker who is close to Talabani, said the Iraqi president would receive the planned treatment for his knee later.

Mayo Clinic spokesman Bryan Anderson said that at Talabani's request, the clinic has no comment.