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Yeltsin Leaves for Hussein Funeral

February 8, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russian President Boris Yeltsin left for Jordan early Monday to attend the funeral of King Hussein, ignoring the advice of his doctors to take his first trip abroad in months.

Yeltsin, 68, who is recuperating from an ulcer and has been ill several times in recent months, was accompanied by his wife Naina, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and a number of aides, the presidential press service said.

Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov saw the president off at the airport, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Yeltsin made the decision Sunday evening to attend Hussein’s funeral, though his doctors advised that he not make the trip. The chief presidential doctor explicitly ruled out foreign travel when Yeltsin was diagnosed as suffering from an ulcer last month.

It is Yeltsin’s first foreign trip since a Central Asian visit that was aborted last fall when the president fell ill. It is his first trip to the Middle East since March 1996, when he visited a Mideast peace summit in Egypt.

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