Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was responding to treatment on Wednesday after suffering a stroke that raised fears of a messy succession battle to replace the Kurd leader who has mediated among Iraq's competing factions, Reuters reported.
"He is showing clear signs of improvement," Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Iraq's Kirkuk city who is also a doctor, told Reuters.
The 79-year-old former guerrilla, who has helped ease tensions among Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Kurds and in the growing dispute over oil between Baghdad and the country's autonomous Kurdistan, was admitted to hospital on Monday night.
He was in intensive care with a specialist team including doctors from Germany, where he received treatment in the past.
Under Iraq's constitution, parliament elects a new president if his post becomes vacant. Iraq's power-sharing deal calls for the presidency to go to a Kurd while two vice president posts are shared by a Sunni and a Shi'ite.