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Talabani recuperating well in hospital

Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan Saad al-Hayani, right, Iraqi presidential spokesman, Mulla Bukhtiar, center, and the Iraqi President's private physician Yedkar Hikmat, left, brief the media at al-Hussein medical center in Amman, Jordan, Monday, Feb. 26, 2007. Hikma said Monday the president had not suffered any heart troubles, flatly dismissing media reports that Talabani had a catheter inserted in his heart or underwent heart surgery at a Jordanian hospital. (AP Photo/ Nader Daoud)

AMMAN, Jordan --Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who remains hospitalized in Jordan following his collapse over the weekend, was said to be recovering well Tuesday but is apparently not ready to go home yet. "He's in good shape, fully aware and doing well," said Saad al-Hayyani, Iraq's ambassador to Jordan. "There are no tests planned today."

The envoy declined to say whether Talabani would be discharged from the King Hussein Medical City in Amman soon so he can return to Iraq.

Talabani, 73, fell ill Sunday in Sulaimaniyah, his hometown in northeastern Iraq, and was unconscious when he was rushed to the hospital there. But he recovered sufficiently to be flown to neighboring Jordan that night for treatment.

Al-Hayyani said Monday that Talabani had been suffering from exhaustion and a mild lung inflammation.

Yedkar Hikmat, Talabani's personal physician, has dismissed rumors that the president has a heart problem.

"He did not suffer any heart attack. His heart is 100 percent good," Hikmat told reporters at King Hussein Medical City on Monday.

Talabani last appeared in public in Sulaimaniyah on Saturday when he met U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and Massoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq.

A member of Talabani's party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, has said the president has a long history of fainting when he is exhausted. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

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