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Azerbaijan President Travels to US for Emergency Medical Treatment


Azerbaijan's ailing President has left a Turkish hospital for emergency medical treatment in the United States, rather than return home to the former Soviet Republic as planned.

Turkey's official Anatolia news agency reports that President Heydar Aliyev has left the Turkish military hospital where he has been receiving treatment since disappearing from public view nearly one month ago.

The agency gave no other details. But a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity late Tuesday, said Mr. Aliyev has been given permission to receive emergency medical treatment in the United States.

Earlier this week, officials in Azerbaijan said the 80-year-old president was being treated for a heart problem, but no other details have been made public.

President Aliyev is expected to travel to the state of Ohio, where he previously underwent heart bypass surgery.

On Monday, Azerbaijan's parliament confirmed the president's son Ilham as the new prime minister - a move seen as the first step toward a transfer of power.