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Palace turmoil, wave of arrests over plot to ‘destabilise’ Jordan – Times of India


AMMAN: Jordan stated Sunday it had foiled a plot in opposition to the dominion involving a half-brother of King Abdullah II, arresting no less than 16 suspects it accused of “sedition” and alleging overseas complicity.
Hamzah bin Hussein — a former crown prince stripped of that title by Abdullah in 2004 — and the others had labored with overseas events to “undermine the security” of Jordan, Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi stated.
Washington, Gulf allies and the Arab League have been fast to stress their assist for Abdullah’s pro-Western authorities, seen as an anchor of stability within the Middle East.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi referred to as the monarch to affirm Cairo’s “full solidarity” with Jordan and specific “complete support of the recent decisions (he) has taken to ensure the stability and security of the kingdom”, in accordance to a presidency assertion.
Hamzah, 41, had Saturday launched a video message by way of the BBC wherein he accused Jordan’s rulers of nepotism and corruption and charged that he had been positioned beneath home arrest.
He lashed out at Jordan’s “ruling system”, saying a number of of his buddies had been arrested, his safety element eliminated and his web and telephone traces minimize.
He denied being half of “any conspiracy or nefarious organisation”, however stated the nation of 10 million individuals had “become stymied in corruption, in nepotism and in misrule” and that nobody was allowed to criticise the authorities.
State-run information company Petra stated amongst these arrested for “security reasons” have been former shut aide to the royal household Bassem Awadallah, chief of the royal court docket in 2007-08, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid.
Safadi, who can also be overseas minister, stated one other 14 to 16 suspects had been arrested.
Security companies monitored “contacts with foreign parties aiming to destabilise Jordan’s security,” together with an alleged supply to spirit Hamzah’s spouse out of the nation, he stated.
Safadi declined to determine the alleged overseas events or say what the costs have been, however stated authorities acted as a result of the alleged conspirators have been “talking about timing”.
“This sedition was nipped in the bud,” Safadi stated.
Hamzah’s mom, American-born Queen Noor, defended her son and the others, tweeting that she was “praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander.”
Hamzah is the eldest son of Queen Noor and the late king Hussein.
Abdullah had appointed Hamzah, a preferred determine shut to tribal leaders, crown prince in 1999 according to Hussein’s dying needs, however stripped him of the title in 2004 and gave it to his eldest son Hussein.
A Jordanian analyst, who declined to be named, stated Hamzah had just lately “stepped up his criticism of what he described as corruption within the government in front of his circle of friends.
“There is actually resentment on his half, as a result of he has by no means digested shedding his title of crown prince.”
Jordan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff head Major General Yousef Huneiti said Hamzah had not been detained, but “requested to cease some actions that may very well be used to shake the steadiness and safety of Jordan”.
The Washington Post had first reported that the former crown prince was “positioned beneath restriction” as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.
It “included no less than one different Jordanian royal in addition to tribal leaders and members of the nation’s safety institution.”
Parliament speaker Abdul Monem Odat said “Jordan has firmly and resolutely stopped any try to undermine its safety and stability and despatched a transparent message to those that King Abdullah II describes because the opponents of Jordanian insurance policies”.
The US State Department said Washington was “intently following” the events, stressing that key partner Abdullah “has our full assist”.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both phoned Jordan’s king to express their support, Saudi state media said.
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said “Jordan is a neighbour and strategic ally with whom we have now peaceable relations. We want to do all the things needed to preserve that alliance.”
Awadallah, a US-educated former finance and planning minister, was close to the king but has also been a controversial figure in Jordan. Before becoming royal court chief in 2007, he was head of the king’s cabinet.
He played a key role pushing for economic reforms before he resigned in 2008 amid criticism over alleged interference in sensitive political and economic issues.
Saturday’s security sweep came as Jordan prepares to mark 100 years since the new kingdom, then named Transjordan, was established alongside Palestine under British mandate. It declared independence in 1946.
But Barah Mikail, an academic at Saint Louis University Madrid and director of consulting firm Stractegia, said the country “would come off properly within the face of a plot hatched in opposition to it, significantly as the dominion’s anniversary approaches”.
Jordan “could be very properly structured in phrases of intelligence and nationwide networks, and tight management, specifically of people suspected of having the ability to hurt the monarchy, is a truth,” he stated.

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