Jordan royal feud stirs unease in Saudi Arabia – Times of India

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia fervently denies involvement in Jordan’s royal feud, however the arrest of an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has stirred unease in Riyadh, which sources say is pushing for his launch.
Bassem Awadallah, seen as an influential determine aware of the internal workings of the Saudi management, was ensnared in a rift inside Jordan’s royal household that performed out in full public glare.
Riyadh formally threw its help behind Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who has sought to attract a line beneath the damaging row along with his half-brother Prince Hamzah as state tv confirmed them collectively on Sunday for the primary time because the disaster erupted.
Saudi officers dismiss hypothesis it was behind the break up, insisting that such royal infighting might have harmful ripple results for different monarchies in the tinderbox area.
The hypothesis arose as Jordan advised a “foreign” hand was behind the disaster, with observers instantly pointing the finger of suspicion at Riyadh.
The disaster adopted media experiences that warming Saudi-Israel ties might value Jordan — house to a big Palestinian inhabitants — its custodianship of Jerusalem’s holy websites together with Al-Aqsa mosque, a key supply of legitimacy for Amman’s ruling Hashemite dynasty.
But a supply near the management of Saudi Arabia, no stranger to royal ructions, advised AFP that Riyadh has “zero interest in destabilising Jordan”, a longstanding regional ally.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan led a delegation to Amman final week to precise what he known as solidarity with Abdullah.
The journey got here, the supply stated, as Saudi rulers felt “the (Jordanian) king was being fed rumours by other parties that they needed to refute in person and not over the phone”.
But additional intensifying hypothesis about Saudi motives, two sources aware of the discussions stated the delegation in Amman pushed for Awadallah’s launch.
Awadallah, a Saudi-Jordanian, has appeared alongside Prince Mohammed at Riyadh’s Davos-style Future Investment Initiative.
He has additionally been photographed praying beside the prince, identified by his initials MBS, an honour normally reserved for his closest confidantes.
Awadallah, a contentious determine in Jordan who has served as head of its royal court docket and likewise particular envoy to Saudi Arabia, is amongst a minimum of 16 folks arrested in reference to what Amman has described as a plot to destabilise the nation.
“Not only did the (Saudi) foreign minister go to get Bassem, the Saudi intelligence director and MBS’s chief of staff went to Amman,” Bruce Riedel, a former lengthy-time American CIA officer now with the Brookings Institution, advised AFP.
The Saudi supply denied the delegation was there for Awadallah, with out saying which officers have been half of the group.
“Awadallah has a personal relationship with the crown prince,” a Gulf-based Western official advised AFP.
“Having him in jail is hurting the Saudi image both in Jordan and abroad as suspicions about Saudi involvement are not totally erased.”
Bessma Momani, a professor at Canada’s University of Waterloo, stated Awadallah was necessary to the Saudis as he has “working knowledge of many Saudi economic plans, policies and strategies that they would like to ensure are not shared” exterior the dominion.
Jordanian officers haven’t specified the costs towards Awadallah.
But his arrest seems to be a pink herring in the whole feud which broke out earlier this month, the Western official stated.
What Jordanian authorities initially known as a overseas plot has turned out to be a bitter squabble between the king and his half-brother, whom he had stripped of the title of crown prince in favour of his son.
“Awadallah’s arrest diverts attention from the rivalry inside the Jordanian royal family and hints at a possible foreign involvement,” the Western official stated.
The troubles in Jordan echo related energy performs in Saudi Arabia, the place King Salman sidelined a senior royal in 2017 to call his younger son, Prince Mohammed, as inheritor to the Arab world’s strongest throne.
Since then, Saudi Arabia has ignored an outcry from human rights campaigners because it detained a number of royal members of the family in a sweeping crackdown, together with the ousted former crown prince, Mohammed bin Nayef.
“It remains to be seen whether King Abdullah has the will and or the power/authority to shut his brother down, but a failure to do so will weaken the monarchy, maybe fatally,” Ali Shihabi, a Saudi authorities advisor, wrote on Twitter.
“This explains why King Salman (a strong and experienced leader) has been so firm with his family during the succession to Crown Prince MBS.
“Failure to have accomplished that would have uncovered Saudi to a number of ‘Hamzah episodes’.”

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