Jordan says prince liaised with ‘overseas events’ over plot to destabilise nation


Amman, April 4

Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday that King Abdullah’s half-brother and former crown prince, Prince Hamza, liaised with foreign parties over a plot to destabilise the country and had been under investigation for some time.

On Saturday the military said it had issued a warning to the prince over actions targeting “security and stability” in the key US ally. Prince Hamza later said he was under house arrest. Several high-profile figures were detained.

“The investigations had monitored interferences and communications with foreign parties over the right timing to destabilise Jordan,” Safadi said.

These included a foreign intelligence agency contacting Prince Hamza’s wife to organise a plane for the couple to leave Jordan, he said.

“Initial investigations showed these activities and movements had reached a stage that directly affected the security and stability of the country, but his majesty decided it was best to talk directly to Prince Hamza, to deal with it within the family to prevent it from being exploited,” he said.

Earlier, Hamza’s mother Queen Noor, the widow of Jordan’s late king, defended her son.

“Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander,” she wrote on Twitter. “God bless and keep them safe.”

Safadi said the security services have asked for those involved in the plot be referred to the state security court.

Jordan’s neighbours and allies expressed solidarity with King Abdullah over the security measures in the kingdom, an important ally of the United States.

Jordan is seen as one of the most stable countries in the Middle East. Echoing statements of support by other allies and neighbours of Jordan, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI held a phone call with King Abdullah II in which he expressed solidarity and support for the country’s security measures, Morocco’s royal palace said on Sunday.

Some opposition figures have rallied around Prince Hamza, in a move that has displeased the king, officials familiar with the situation said.

Jordan’s neighbours and allies reacted with statements of support of the action.

Following are reactions from different countries and groups:

United States

“We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in an email.

Britain

“We are following closely the events in Jordan….Jordan is a greatly valued partner for the UK. King Abdullah has our full support,” James Cleverly, a junior Foreign Office minister, on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia

“The kingdom affirms its full support, with all its capabilities, to all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah and His Highness Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Crown Prince, to maintain security and stability,” the Saudi royal court said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said Jordan’s stability and prosperity was the “basis for the stability and prosperity of the whole region” and vowed “firm and lasting” support for it.

United Arab Emirates

The Ministry of Presidential Affairs stressed the UAE’s full support for all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah and his crown prince to maintain Jordan’s security and stability and “to defuse any attempt to impact them”.

Senior Emirati official Anwar Gargash said on Twitter Jordan’s “wise policy to build bridges in a turbulent region was not an easy choice but was, and remains, the necessary direction”.

Egypt

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.

Israel

“This is an internal Jordanian matter. Jordan is a neighbour with which we are at peace, and a strategic ally of ours, and we should do everything to preserve this alliance,” Defence Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement. “A prosperous and strong Jordan is in our national-security and economic interest.”

Oman

Oman completely stands by Jordan under the leadership of King Abdullah and firmly supports anything that preserves Jordan’s security, sovereignty and stability, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Bahrain

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa affirmed full support to the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah to maintain Jordan’s security and stability and “defuse all disruptive attempts,” state news agency BNA said.

Iran

“Iran is opposed to any internal instability and foreign interference and believes that all internal affairs of the countries should be pursued within the framework of the law,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, according to state media.

“Internal tension and instability in the West Asian region would be in favour of the Zionist regime (Israel) … There are always traces of this regime in any sedition in Islamic countries.”

Lebanon

“Jordan’s security and safety is a fundamental basis for the security and safety of the Arab world,” Lebanese Prime Minister designate Saad al-Hariri said on Twitter. “All the solidarity with the Jordanian leadership and King Abdullah in defending the gains of the Jordanian people, protecting their stability, and refusing interference in their affairs.”

Kuwait

Kuwait’s foreign ministry expressed its support to all measures taken by King Abdullah and his crown prince to maintain the security and stability of Jordan.

Iraq

“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.

Qatar

Qatar expressed its full solidarity with Jordan and full support to the decisions and measures issued by King Abdullah to preserve security and stability, and boost the process of progress and prosperity, state news agency QNA said.

It said strategic bilateral relations “will remain an honest and strong guard against any attempts to undermine the security and stability in the two countries and the region”.

Yemen

Yemen’s internationally recognised government “affirms its absolute support and totally stands with all decisions and measures taken by His Majesty King Abdullah aimed at maintaining security and ending any attempts to destabilize the sisterly Kingdom of Jordan,” state news agency Saba said.

Palestinian President

“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that we stand by the sisterly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the king, the government, and the people,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said in a statement.

“We support the steps taken by King Abdullah to maintain Jordanian national security, stressing that Jordan’s security and stability is a supreme Palestinian interest.”

Arab League

“The secretary-general of the Arab League expressed full solidarity with the measures taken by the Jordanian leadership to maintain the security of the kingdom and maintain the stability,” the Arab League said in a statement on its Facebook page, citing Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

“He also stressed his confidence in the leadership’s wisdom and its keenness to secure the country’s stability in parallel with the respect for the constitution and the law.

Turkey

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry voiced support for King Abdullah and the government of Jordan, and said that it was watching developments with concern.

“We do not see the stability and calm of Jordan, a country that is key to peace in the Middle East, as separate from Turkey’s stability and calm,” the ministry said in a statement.

—   Reuters



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