Jordan Queen Slams 'Wicked Slander' after Prince Detained

Marco Green
Апреля 4, 2021

Jordan's military has told King Abdullah's half-brother Prince Hamza bin Hussein to halt actions targeting "security and stability" in what people familiar with the matter said could be related to a plot to destabilize the country.

Security forces arrested several officials on Saturday.

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 Saudi royal court voiced its "full support" for King Abdullah and all decisions taken by him to maintain security and stability.

Initial investigations have proven the existence of communication between people from the circle surrounding Prince Hamzah, said Safadi, adding that these people are passing allegations and messages to bodies overseas, including the so-called foreign opposition to use them to incite against homeland security and distort facts. He did not identify the "foreign parties" allegedly involved in the plot.

What was the reaction in Jordan?

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In a video recording, Prince Hamzah says he is under house arrest and had been told to stay at home and not contact anyone and that the country's leaders are a corrupt few who put their interests above the public.

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"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander", former Queen Noor wrote on Twitter. "God bless and keep them safe".

Jordan's army said Saturday that Hamzah had been asked to stop "some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan", while the Washington Post reported an alleged plot to overthrow Hamzah's half-brother, King Abdullah II.

Sherif is a title given to those close to the royal family in Jordan.

Among those detained was Bassem Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister and a longtime confidant of the king.

"The US administration knows that Bassam Awadullah works for MBS (Mohammed bin Salman)".

Awadallah, a proponent of economic reforms, resigned as chief of the royal court in 2008 amid allegations of interference in sensitive political and economic issues.

He was the king's envoy to Saudi Arabia, where he also had investments, according to local media reports.

The minister explained that Prince Hamzah and those close to him had contacted Jordanian opposition overseas and activists and figures in the country to join them.

Several hours later, Hamzeh passed on a video to the BBC in which he said that he was forbidden from communicating with people or using Twitter after being told that he had participated in meetings in which the king was criticized. "This file is now more or less closed".

King Abdullah has succeeded in bringing political stability to the country and gaining stature as a prominent Arab leader whose message of moderation has found an echo, especially in Western forums.

Abdullah succeeded his father King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for almost five decades.

The United States, the United Kingdom and Gulf allies rallied behind the king, highlighting Jordan's strategic importance in the region.

Tribes who dominate the security forces form the bedrock of support for the kingdom's Hashemite monarchy.

"Jordan's security and safety is a fundamental basis for the security and safety of the Arab world", Lebanese Prime Minister designate Saad al Hariri said on Twitter.

A country of 10 million people, Jordan's economy was already suffering before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

But he did not think there is a credible threat to Abdullah's rule and it is unlikely to lead to a popular uprising.

Amman-based journalist Rana Sweis told DW that Prince Hamzah's video appeal was "unprecedented". The individual offered his services at her disposal while offering her a plane immediately to get out of Jordan, Safadi said.

"It is really a rare kind of tension that we have not really seen before at the forefront", she added.

In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said Jordan's stability and prosperity was the "basis for the stability and prosperity of the whole region" and vowed "firm and lasting" support for it. It borders Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Iraq.

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