Friday, 16 April, 2021

Aoun Voices Support for Jordan after Security Sweep

Abdullah II addressing policemen at the Public Security Directorate in Amman Abdullah II addressing policemen at the Public Security Directorate in Amman
Ginger Lawrence | 05 April, 2021, 00:54

Jordan's former Crown Prince says he has been put under house arrest - as part of a wider crackdown on critics of the country's leadership.

Meanwhile, two senior ex-officials and several others were arrested, as rumours of an alleged coup attempt against King Abdullah II, Hamzah's half-brother, swirled.

In a statement by the Jordanian Chief of Staff, Gen. Yousef Huneiti, denied that Prince Hamzah was detained or under house arrest but confirmed he was asked to stop activities that are used to target Jordan's security and stability.

"He did say that he met with some of the tribal leaders, so one can then understand why the official view that this was a destabilizing move on his part", she said.

His mother, former Queen Noor, is calling the allegations a, quote "wicked slander" against her son.

"In this framework, we express our strong support for King Abdullah II and the Jordanian government, as well as for the tranquility, welfare and well-being of the friendly and brotherly people of Jordan", it said.

Jordan's allies in the Gulf region have said they support the Jordanian authorities following media reports of a possible plot.

Under the "Abraham Accords" brokered by former USA president Donald Trump previous year, four Arab countries - the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan - agreed to normalise ties with the Jewish state.

Similarly, communications between the prince's wife and a foreign individual affiliated with foreign security forces were intercepted, Safadi said.

Jordan says former crown prince liaised with foreign parties in 'malicious plot'
What do we know so far? He also attended Harvard University in the United States and has served in the Jordanian armed forces. King Abdullah removed Prince Hamza from his position as heir to the throne in 2004, in a move that consolidated his power.

The Saudi Royal Diwan stressed on Saturday the Kingdom's solidarity with Jordan and full support to the decisions of King Abdullah II that are aimed at preserving his country's security.

Jordan also has strong ties with the U.S., supporting it during the Iraq War as well as its efforts against the Islamic State.

The state news agency said on Saturday that Bassem Awadallah, a US -educated long-time confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and also advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and royal family member Sharif Hassan Ben Zaid had been detained, along with others.

The US State Department said on Saturday that King Abdullah is a "key partner" of the US.

Hamzeh, 41, the ruling king's half brother, served as Jordan's crown prince for four years until 2004, when the title was transferred to the king's eldest son, Hussein.

King Abdullah has ruled the country since the death of his father, King Hussein, in 1999.

Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister educated in the United States, was close to the king but has also been a controversial figure in Jordan.

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. "As of now, there is no such indication", Oded Eran, a former Israeli ambassador to Jordan and now senior research fellow at Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), told Israel's Army Radio.

Despite having little oil wealth and severely lacking water, the kingdom has managed to survive repeated wars in the region which have sent waves of refugees across its borders.