Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday (4) that Prince Hamza bin Hussein, King Abdullah’s half-brother and former heir to the throne, was conspiring with foreign agents to destabilize the country and was under attack. ‘an investigation for some time. .
On Saturday (3), the armed forces arrested 20 people during an operation and warned the minister against actions against “the security and stability” of Jordan – a country ally of the United States. On video, Prince Hamza denied the accusation and said he was under house arrest.
“Investigations monitored communications with foreign agents on the best time to destabilize Jordan,” Safadi said. Among the communications intercepted were conversations between foreign intelligence agents and Prince Hamza’s wife to arrange for a plane to be sent to take the couple away. the country.
“The first investigations showed that these activities and movements had reached a point which affected the security and stability of the country, but His Highness decided that it would be better to speak directly with Prince Hamza, to address the problem in family and prevent it from happening. be politically exploited. “
Events could affect Jordan’s image as an island of stability in the troubled Middle East. Hamza, who was raised by his mother, Queen Noor, to succeed former King Hussein, was astonished after being sidelined by Abdullah as an option to the throne in 2004, a move that consolidated his power.
Since then, Hamza has tried to gain popularity among the country’s prominent tribes, and opposition figures have approached him, which the current monarch views with reservations. These members of opposition groups called Herak have called for protests against corruption in Jordan, where the Covid-19 pandemic has caused record unemployment and increased poverty.
Abdullah succeeded his father, King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for nearly five decades.
The tradition of the Hashemite dynasty, under the 1952 Constitution, gives the eldest son the right to take the throne, but the monarch retains the option of appointing a brother. King Abdullah has successfully brought political stability to the country and gained stature as a prominent Arab leader whose message has resonated especially in Western forums.
A former US official familiar with the actions in Jordan said the alleged plan would not involve a “physical coup” but protests that would appear to be a “popular street insurgency”.
According to the official news agency, among those arrested in Saturday’s operation are Sharif Hassan Ben Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadallah, a confidant of the king who later became Minister of Finance and adviser to the prince. Saudi Mohammad Bin Salman, who has raised the possibility that Saudi Arabia is somehow participating in a supposed plan in Jordan.
After the arrests, the Saudi royal court expressed full support for King Abdullah, as well as Egypt, Lebanon and Bahrain. The US State Department, a key ally of Jordan, has said Abdullah is a “key partner” in Washington and has full support.
Most politicians believe Prince Hamza will be silenced and unlikely to pose a threat, given that the armed and security forces strongly support King Abdullah.
“I believe that King Abdullah strengthened his authority and that his son, Hussein, consolidated himself as heir to the throne,” said Jawad al Anani, who was the last head of the court during the reign of the late King Hussein. in 1999.