Gulf Monarchies Back Jordan King after Security Sweep

Gulf Monarchies Back Jordan King after Security Sweep

The Washington Post said the former crown prince was "placed under restriction" as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.

Major General Yousef Huneiti, chairman of the Jordanian armed forces, said: "The investigations are continuing".

"The Iraqi government affirms that it stands with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II, in any steps taken to preserve the security and stability of the country and take care of the interests of the brotherly people of Jordan, in a way that boosts their presence, by relying on measures that aim to extend the respect of the state", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Jordan's army Yusef Huneity denied reports that Prince Hamza had been arrested but said he was told to "stop activities that are being exploited to target Jordan's security and stability".

It is rare for a senior member of the ruling family to express such harsh criticism of the government, and any sign of instability in Jordan is likely to raise concerns among the country's Western allies.

It "included at least one other Jordanian royal as well as tribal leaders and members of the country's security establishment".

He is seen as religious and modest, in touch with the common people and similar to his beloved father, the late King Hussein.

Prince Hamza said in a video recording he was under house arrest and had been told to stay at home and not contact anyone, and Queen Noor, the widow of late King Hussein, said the authorities' accusations against him were slander.

The BBC said it received the statement from Hamzah's lawyer.

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The US also expressed support for King Abdullah II, describing him as a key partner.

He lashed out at Jordan's "ruling system", saying several of his friends had been arrested, his security detail removed and his internet and phone lines cut.

Egypt voiced support for King Abdullah and his efforts "to maintain the security and stability of the kingdom against any attempts to undermine it", its presidency spokesman wrote on Facebook.

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

Jordan's economy has been been battered by the pandemic, which has hit hard its population of 10 million people and more than 600,000 Syrian refugees. Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994.

Security services monitored "contacts with foreign parties aiming to destabilise Jordan's security", including an alleged offer to spirit Hamzah's wife out of the country, he said.

In early 2018, as then-President Donald Trump was threatening to cut aid to countries that did not support USA policies, the administration boosted assistance to Jordan by more than $1 billion over five years.

At the time of the king's premature death from illness in February 1999, Hamzah was very young and Abdullah, the eldest son of Princess Muna, Hussein's second wife, acceded the throne. The move was seen at the time as part of Abdullah's consolidation of power five years after the succession.

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