Talabani takes office as Iraq's President

Thursday 07 April 2005 13.59
Jalal Talabani - Promises inclusive Iraq
Jalal Talabani - Promises inclusive Iraq

Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani has been sworn in as Iraq's president at a ceremony in Baghdad.

He is the first non-Arab president of an Arab country and Iraq's first democratically elected president in more than 50 years.

Mr Talabani, 71, took the oath of office at a ceremony inside Baghdad's fortified Green Zone in front of hundreds of lawmakers and religious and political leaders.

In his acceptance speech yesterday, Mr Talabani pledged to work with all ethnic and religious factions to rebuild Iraq. 

The Kurdish politician was chosen after weeks of political wrangling following January’s elections.

Shi'ite candidate Adel Abdul Mahdi and Sunni Arab Ghazi al-Yawar were picked as vice presidents.