Jordan accepts family request for burial of Iraq’s Aziz

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Jordan said Saturday that former Iraqi foreign minister Tareq Aziz will be buried on its soil after approving a request from his family to hold the funeral in the kingdom.

Aziz, who served as the voice of Saddam Hussein’s regime for two decades, died in hospital on Friday aged 79.

“The Jordanian authorities have accepted a request from the family of Tareq Aziz to bring his remains to be buried here in Jordan on humanitarian grounds,” an official said.

Aziz gave himself up to the Americans a month after the March 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam. His family fled to Jordan the same year and has been living in the capital since then.

Jordan was in the process of contacting the Iraqi authorities about the matter, the source said.

Aziz’s son Ziad told AFP that his family had yet to hear from the Iraqi government or its embassy in Amman to inform them whether or not they can receive the body or bury it in Jordan.

He said the only information he had on the whereabouts of his father’s body was from Iraqi television reports that it had been transferred to Nasiriyah, where he was imprisoned.

“But no one has contacted my mother who is currently in Baghdad to advise if she can receive the body,” he added.

Aziz died of a heart attack.

He had long been in poor health, suffering from heart and respiratory problems, high blood pressure and diabetes, and his family repeatedly called for his release from custody.

Aziz had been on death row since October 2010 after being convicted of murder and crimes against humanity.