After family mediation, ex-crown prince vows support to Jordan’s king

FILED - King Abdullah II of Jordan pictured during a press conference in Germany's Chancellery on September 17, 2019. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa
FILED - King Abdullah II of Jordan pictured during a press conference in Germany's Chancellery on September 17, 2019. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/dpa

(dpa) – Jordan’s former crown prince Hamzah has affirmed his loyalty to King Abdullah II, a royal court statement said, two days after authorities limited the prince’s freedoms and said he was involved in a plot targeting the kingdom’s stability and security.

“The homeland’s interests must remain above all else, and that we all stand behind His Majesty the King in his efforts to protect Jordan and its national interests,” the statement that Hamzah signed read.

A rare public split within the Jordanian royal family began on Saturday when the army said Hamzah, the king’s half-brother, was asked to refrain from activities that could be damaging to the kingdom’s stability.

In recorded videos, Hamzah said the head of the military joint chiefs of staff told him not to leave his house or communicate with people.

A day later, authorities said they had foiled a destabilizing plot involving Hamzah and that investigations have led to the arrests of several high-profile figures.

Despite Hamzah’s defiant tone in the videos and voice recordings released in the past two days, family mediation appears to have put an end to to the public dispute.

Earlier on Monday, Abdullah asked his uncle, Prince Hassan, to mediate.

Hassan hosted a meeting at his house with 41-year-old Hamzah that was also attended by several members of the royal family including Hamzah’s brother, Hashem. Both are children of late king Hussein and his fourth wife, Queen Noor.

At the end of the meeting, Hamzah signed the statement published by the royal court, in which he stated his support and loyalty to Abdullah.

“In light of the developments in the past two days, I place myself in the hands of His Majesty the King … and I will always help and support His Majesty the King and his Crown Prince,” read the statement.

Hamzah, 41, was Jordan’s crown prince between 1999 and 2004, when Abdullah removed him and appointed his own son, al-Hussein. At the time, Hamzah said he will remain a devout supporter of Abdullah in official letter published by state media.

He is a popular figure in Jordan, and has been praised on social media in recent days for his condemnation of corruption in the country.

“I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years,” the prince said in a video on Saturday.

Jordan has seen several protests in recent years, with people demonstrating against corruption and the deteriorating economic conditions in the country.

The royal dispute takes place as Jordan struggles to control the spread of coronavirus as the pandemic continues to increase the pressure on the embattled economy, which is largely dependant on aid.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said investigations showed there were movements by Hamzah and others detained that were targeting the kingdom’s stability and security, and that they were in contact with “foreign parties.”

He did not identify who the foreign parties are, but said 16 to 18 people have been arrested.

Several Arab governments have voiced unequivocal backing King Abdullah.

The mostly desert kingdom is a major regional US ally.

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