Gray Flannel Dwarf

3/19/2003

Rumours of Tariq Aziz’s defection and/or death

Defection reports:
Report 1Sky News (UK)
Report 2The Sentinel (UK)

Defection Rumour (since proven untrue) below:

Tariq Aziz: Defection rumours

MYSTERY OVER TARIQ AZIZ
The Foreign Office is investigating rumours that Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi deputy prime minister, has defected to Northern Iraq.

Junior Foreign Office minister Mike O’Brien told the Commons that the rumours came from a Bulgarian source.

Labour’s Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) said: “We do have reports that are as yet unconfirmed that Tariq Aziz has defected to Northern Iraq to Kurdish Democratic Party territory.

“It would be very useful to have a statement if that is confirmed.”

Mr O’Brien said: “We too have heard these rumours and we are seeking confirmation, or not, of them.”

The Foreign Office said there was nothing more to add to Mr O’Brien’s remarks at this stage.
Death report:
Report 1Islamic Republic News Agency
UK trying to clarify rumors Tariq Aziz has been killed

London, March 19, IRNA — Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien said
Wednesday that the British government was trying to clarify the rumor
that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz had been killed.
“The rumor and it is no more than that at this stage, and I want
to emphasize that and I understand our source is Bulgarian source at
the moment — is that Tariq Aziz . . . may have been killed,” O’Brien
told MPs in the House of Commons.
“There are rumors — we do not know if they are true,” he stressed
but pledged to keep parliament informed as soon as the matter was
clarified.
Earlier O’Brien confirmed that the British government was aware of
‘reports’ that Aziz may have been trying to defect to Iraqi Kurdistan.
HC/BH/AH
End


Tags: , , — cswiii @ 10:16 am

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