FORMER IRAQI FM TAREQ AZIZ TO BE BURIED IN JORDAN

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 8 – Iraq’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Tareq Aziz, has asked before his death that he be buried in Jordan, where his family has been living for over a decade, according to his private lawyer.

Aziz, who was Iraq’s public face, as one of the top deputies of former President Saddam Hussein, died of a heart attack in a prison in southern Iraq on Friday, at the age of 79.

His private attorney, Badei Aref Azzeh, told Petra’s reporter in Baghdad that, his client had insisted on his burial in Jordan and that his family had been informed about his will. He said, Aziz had also requested that he conveys his gratitude to Jordan, for its stand towards his family.

Azzeh said that Iraqi Prime Minister, Haidar Al Abadi, has ordered that the body of Aziz be transferred from the Prison in Nasiriyeh, 350 KM south of Baghdad, to the capital, in order to be handed over to Jordan and on to his family for burial “according to his will.”

Aziz’s son, Ziyad, had demanded that his father’s body be moved for burial in Amman, where his family has been living since 2003.

Aziz, Iraq’s foreign minister between 1983 and 1991 and deputy prime minister between 1979 and 2003, was a member of the former ruling Baath Party’s inner circle.

He has been on death row since 2012, after he surrendered to US forces, shortly after the invasion of the country.

SOURCE: PETRA