Jordan says prince liaised with 'foreign parties' over plot to destabilise country

05 Avril, 2021, 21:51 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • King receives phone calls from Arab leaders

"We confirm here that there is now full control over these movements ... and the state services were able to smother them before they began", Safadi said.

The Jordanian government initially denied reports that Prince Hamzah had been arrested, but a video first obtained by the BBC said that he was under house arrest and had his phone and internet access restricted.

Safadi said Hamzah was warned Saturday by the country's military chief to halt his activities but rejected the request. "It's a break from the traditions and values of the Hashemite family", he said.

A top Jordanian official Sunday accused the kingdom's former crown prince of colluding with outside parties in a plot aimed at targeting the government's security and stability, one day after the prince was placed under house arrest and security forces detained more than a dozen of his associates.

Safadi did not provide specifics on the alleged plot or say what other countries were purported to have been involved.

What was the reaction in Jordan? .

Videos posted online showed a heavy police deployment in the Dabouq area near the royal palaces on the edge of Amman, while former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein said he was confined to his home.

On Twitter, Hamza's mother, Queen Noor called the incidents a "wicked slander".

Parliament speaker Abdul Monem Odat said "Jordan has firmly and resolutely stopped any attempt to undermine its security and stability and sent a clear message to those who King Abdullah II describes as the opponents of Jordanian policies". "The Israeli security establishment would not look favorably toward any real instability in Jordan that triggers a Palestinian crisis".

Safadi, who is also foreign minister, said another 14 to 16 suspects had been arrested.

Among those detained was Bassem Awadallah, a former finance and planning minister and a longtime confidant of the king. In recent years, Awadallah became a personal advisor for the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman who is often regarded as the de facto ruler of the kingdom.

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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.

Mr Safadi said officials had tried to discourage the prince rather than take legal action against him, but Prince Hamzah had "dealt with this request negatively".

Prince Faisal said there were no direct channels between Saudi Arabia and Iran but that the Saudi kingdom was ready to talk "if Iran changes its behaviour". In a six-minute video provided to the BBC by his lawyer, he said he was "not part of any conspiracy".

Labib Kamhawi, a Jordanian analyst, told the Associated Press that Hamzah likely crossed a line for the royal family by indicating he might be an alternative to the long-ruling king. "This file is now more or less closed".

But Barah Mikail, an academic at Saint Louis University Madrid and director of consulting firm Stractegia, said the country "would come off well in the face of a plot hatched against it, particularly as the kingdom's anniversary approaches".

"His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa affirmed full support to the decisions and measures taken by HM King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan to maintain his country's security and stability and defuse all disruptive attempts", state news agency BNA said.

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

Morocco's foreign affairs ministry also expressed support for Jordan's stability. "It has also had to undergo some very serious austerity measures that are starting to be really painful for ordinary Jordanians", she told DW News.

Domestically, Prince Hamzah's unprecedented criticism of the ruling class _ without naming the king _ could lend support to growing complaints about poor governance and human rights abuses in Jordan.

"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.

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