World leaders in Amman to take part in Hussein's funeral
Jordan, Politics, 2/8/1999
King Hussein of Jordan's funeral was held today in Amman following the afternoon prayers at the royal palaces in Amman.
A Jordanian official source said that the last date for the arrival of delegations to take part in the funeral was Monday at 11 a.m., and that the delegates will meet at Raghdan palace.
On Sunday afternoon, the death of King Hussein of cancer at age 63 was officially pronounced in Amman. A source at the Jordanian royal court said that the Jordanian King died just two days after his arrival back to Jordan after a failure in treating him from cancer at the US Mayo Clinic.
The Jordanian government announced official mourning for 40 days on the death of King Hussein. The government on this occasion will stop work in ministries, official departments and public institutions until Saturday morning.
On the other hand, well-informed Jordanian sources said that King Hussein asked in his will to be buried in Jerusalem beside his Great grandfather, al-Sharif Hussein, leader of the greater Arab revolution.
The same sources asserted that certain members of the royal family want to bury the King in the Royal Gardens in Jordan beside his father King Talal and his grandfather King Abdullah.
Meanwhile, in a televised statement King Abdullah announced via Jordanian television that he will continue the policy adopted by his father. King Abdullah appointed his half brother, Prince Hamzeh, as his crown prince according to the wish of his late father, said Jordanian television and radio on Sunday. World leaders extended tributes to the late King Hussein as a "statesman and peacemaker" and pledged support for his country.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair described King Hussein as a prominent figure, brave and of clear vision, whose leadership offered a lot to Jordan throughout the past 50 years. Blair added that the King's achievements in Jordan and other matters will be "always remembered for years in appreciation and gratitude."
The British Premier announced total support for King Abdullah, asserting, "We have full confidence in him."
The office of Israeli President Ezer Weizman said on Monday that Weizman will represent Israeli by attending the funeral of King Hussein. Arieh Shumeir, the director of the Israeli president's office, explained that an invitation was sent to Weizman, and he will be attending.
Weizman sent his condolences to the widow of the Jordanian King, his sons and family members and to the Jordanian people.
US President Bill Clinton arrived yesterday in Jordan, at the head of a delegation including three former leaders, and congressional leaders, and the parents of Queen Noor, who was born in America.
Clinton was accompanied by former US Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford; UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; the head of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn; Clinton's advisor for national security, Sandy Berger, Republican Senator Ted Stevens and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, the head of the Senate's international relations committee.
Then the wife of the US president, Hillary Clinton, joined the delegation coming from Holland.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin who has been undergoing medical rest also attended.
Meanwhile, Nagib Halaby said that the late king was a great, husband, great king and a kind son-in-law, adding that he was honored to make King Hussein's acquaintance 50 years ago.
Sorrow prevailed in the Arab world due to the death of King Hussein, while Arab flags were flown at half-mast all over the world, and the Arab League lowered its flags to half-mast as well.
The Jordanians escorted the funeral procession to his final resting place in a military ritual with the the participation of 40 leaders from different parts of the world, including French President Jacques Chirac, Spain's King Juan Carlos, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad, Britain's Prince Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, who is considered the first Kuwaiti official of this level to visit Jordan since the Gulf War liberated Kuwait.
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, , Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed of Oman, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon, Turkish President Suleiman Demirel and Foreign Minister Ismael Cem, and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh were also among the many in attendance.
Several Arab states announced three-day official mourning periods.
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