Jordan says prince liaised with 'foreign parties' over plot to destabilise country

Grant Boone
April 6, 2021

Safadi on Sunday painted the prince as a frustrated royal clamoring for power who has been duped by Jordan's enemies into working against the state - an image at odds with the prince's public persona.

The official newspaper Al Rai on Sunday warned that Jordan's "security and stability" were a "red line that must not be crossed or even approached", and said an official statement on the events was expected later in the morning.

The U.S. and Arab governments' quick siding with Abdullah reflected the country's strategic importance.

In the phone call, King Mohammed VI expressed his full support for the decisions of King Abdullah II to ensure the stability and security in his country.

In the night from Saturday to Sunday, Hamzah had announced in a secretly recorded video leaked to the media that he had been placed under house arrest.

Hamza is not seen as a threat to the monarchy, which enjoys the support of the army and security services, but has gained sympathy among Jordanians skeptical of the government's accusations about his foreign links, saying it was a campaign to defame him.

Prince Hamzah denied being part of "any conspiracy or nefarious organisation", but said the Hashemite kingdom had "become stymied in corruption, in nepotism, and in misrule" and that nobody was allowed to criticise the authorities.

The move is within the framework of comprehensive joint investigations conducted by the security apparatuses, which resulted in the arrest of royal family member Sharif Hassan Ben Zeid and former minister Bassem Awadallah, among others, according to the state-run Petra news agency.

Safadi, who is also foreign minister, said that an additional 14 to 16 suspects had been arrested.

"The investigations had monitored interferences and communications with foreign parties over the right timing to destabilise Jordan", Safadi said. He did not identify the "foreign parties" allegedly involved in the plot.

Safadi said Hamzah had engaged in "recent activities and movements" that aimed to incite people against the state.

Hamzah's mother, Noor, weighed in on Twitter, writing Sunday: "Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander".

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Hamzah is the eldest son of American-born Queen Noor and the late King Hussein.

Prince Hamza is a former crown prince, as his half-brother King Abdullah removed him from the line of succession in 2004.

In light of the developments over the past two days, I put myself at the disposal of His Majesty the King, and I reaffirm that I will always remain committed to the covenant of the ancestors, loyal to their legacy, following in their footsteps, devoted to their path and mission, and to His Majesty the King; and committed to the Constitution of the dear Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

"There is certainly resentment on his part, because he has never digested losing his title of crown prince".

The recording, which circulated online, indicates that tensions are running high between Jordan's King Abdullah II and his half-brother Hamzah, a former crown prince.

The Washington Post had first reported that the former crown prince was "placed under restriction" as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.

Huneiti said the troops will confront anyone who "tries to endanger the nation's security, terrify its citizens and threatens the security and stability of the kingdom". "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support".

The United Arab Emirates, Oman, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Iran, Yemen, Israel, Palestinian territories, Romania and Ukraine also issued statements in solidarity with Jordan's security. "We need to do everything necessary to maintain that alliance". Before becoming royal court chief in 2007, he was head of the king's cabinet.

He had played a key role pushing for economic reforms in the country before he resigned in 2008 amid criticism over alleged interference in sensitive political and economic issues.

Jordan's regional and worldwide allies have rallied around the kingdom after it announced the arrests on Saturday.

It declared independence in 1946.

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