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Palace crisis is over, says Jordan king

AFP/Amman
Filed on April 7, 2021 | Last updated on April 8, 2021 at 08.07 am
Jordan’s King Abdullah. — AP file

The government had accused Hamzah of involvement in a conspiracy to "destabilise the kingdom’s security" and arrested at least 16 people

Jordan’s King Abdullah broke his silence on Wednesday to tell his nation that the worst political crisis in decades sparked by an alleged plot involving his half-brother Prince Hamzah was over.

The government had accused Hamzah — a former crown prince who was sidelined as heir to the throne in 2004 — of involvement in a conspiracy to “destabilise the kingdom’s security” and arrested at least 16 people.

But King Abdullah said on Wednesday that Hamzah, who has signed a letter pledging his loyalty to the king following mediation by an uncle, was safe in his palace under his “protection”.

“I assure you, that the sedition has been nipped in the bud,” King Abdullah said in an address read out in his name on state television, a day after an official news blackout on the affair.

“The challenge of these last days was not the most dangerous for the stability of the country — but it was the most painful for me because the parties involved in this sedition were from home and from outside,” he said.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Sunday charged that the plotters had linked up with foreign parties, but had declined to identify them.

Reacting to the events, King Abdullah said he felt “shock, pain and anger as a brother and guardian of the Hashemite family and as a leader of this dear people”.

Hamzah was appointed crown prince in 1999 in line with his father’s wishes, but Abdullah stripped him of the title in 2004 and named his eldest son in Hamzah’s place.

After claiming he was put under house arrest on Saturday, Hamzah had made extensive use of traditional and social media to lash out against his situation.

He accused Jordan’s rulers of corruption and ineptitude in a video message published by the BBC on Saturday.

But after a statement voicing his loyalty to the king on Monday, Abdullah said on Wednesday that Hamzah had offered his support for the monarchy.

“Hamzah is now with his family in his palace under my protection,” Abdullah said in his address.

“He has committed before the (Hashemite) family to follow the path of his parents and grandparents, to be faithful to their message, and to place the interest of Jordan, its constitution and its laws above all other considerations.”

Investigations continue, the king said.

“Regarding the other aspects of this affair, they are being investigated... and the results will be dealt with transparently,” he added in the address.

The crisis had laid bare divisions in a pro-Western country usually seen as a bulwark of stability in the Middle East.






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