Saddam Cousin Refuses to Meet Baghdad's Ambassador in Jordan
A cousin and former aide of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein who has asked for asylum in an Arab country has refused to meet with the Iraqi ambassador to Jordan, aides said Tuesday.
Alaa Abdel Kader Suleiman al-Majid, 46, who is staying in an Amman hotel, was expected to meet Ambassador Yassin Sabah on Monday but later changed his mind, they said. They did not elaborate.
Sabah had telephoned Majid Monday evening requesting the meeting and Majid had accepted the encounter but then backed off, although the diplomat went to the hotel to see him, they added.
An aide to Majid told AFP on Monday that Sabah was expected to "submit proposals to solve this problem".
A witness said that Sabah tried twice to see Majid but was told he refused to meet him.
The Iraqi embassy declined any immediate comment on the report.
Hotel employees stood guard in the corridor outside Majid's room and prevented journalists from approaching the room late Monday.
On Tuesday Majid did not answer his hotel and mobile telephone and was unavailable for comment.
On Monday Majid told AFP he was looking for asylum in an Arab country following "differences" with the Iraqi government that emerged 10 days ago, since he arrived in Jordan from an Iraqi mission to Morocco.
"I left Iraq for Morocco two months and a half ago on a mission and was due to return to Iraq," Majid told AFP.
"Over the past 10 days differences emerged with the Iraqi government that prevented me from returning," he said.
"I am looking for an Arab country to give me asylum and protection because I can no longer return to Iraq because of (these) differences," he said, adding that he had not asked for asylym in Jordan.
A Jordanian official questioned by AFP confirmed that there had been no requests for political asylum "from Iraqi nationals or anyone else."
Meanwhile a Jordanian government source was quoted by Tuesday's press as saying that "this Iraqi man is an imposter who fled Iraqi recently to avoid fraud charges."
Informed Iraqi sources who declined to be named said on Monday that Majid could obtain asylum in Yemen.
They said Majid has "financial differences" with the Iraqi authorities but also did not elaborate.
Majid is a cousin of Hussein Kamel Hassan al-Majid, a son-in-law of Saddam who defected to Jordan in August 1995 along with his two brothers and Saddam's daughters, Raghad and Rana.
Hussein Kamel and his two brothers, one of whom was also a son-in-law of Saddam, were assassinated upon their return to Iraq in 1996 by "members of their tribe," according to the Iraqi authorities -- AMMAN (AFP)
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