Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, a key figure in Balkan politics, is being treated in a Washington military hospital.
Tudjman is suffering from a gastric ulcer and inflamed lymph nodes, his office in Zagreb said, adding in an upbeat tone that he “is feeling well and is carrying out his duties.”
However, a U.S. official, commenting only on condition of anonymity, said Tudjman has cancer and “is very sick.”
Tudjman, 74, will return home to Croatia next week, according to the statement from his office.
Known for his distinctive shock of white hair, Tudjman steered Croatia to independence in 1991 and defeated Serb rebels in two regions of Croatia in 1995, events that eventually laid the groundwork for the Dayton peace accords later that year.
Constitutionally, presidential duties are taken up by the speaker of parliament if Tudjman is absent for an extended period or is incapacitated.