King Abdullah of Jordan announced on Wednesday (7) that the alleged coup attempt in the country had been quelled and the situation was under control. This is the first statement after the crisis with his half-brother, ex-Crown Prince Hamza bin Hussein, accused of conspiring with foreign agents to destabilize the country.
The monarch said the offensive was particularly painful because it came from a member of the royal family. “Nothing compares to what I have felt – shock, pain and anger – as a brother and guardian of the Hashemite family and leader of this beloved people,” he said in a letter sent to the nation.
On Saturday (3), the armed forces arrested 20 people during an operation and alerted the government to actions against “the security and stability” of Jordan – a country ally of the United States.
On video, Prince Hamza, 41, denied the accusation and said he was under house arrest. He said he was not involved in a conspiracy and accused his country’s authorities of corruption and incompetence.
Two days later, however, after mediation from the royal family, he signed a letter of loyalty to the king. Abdullah said he decided to deal with the case “within the Hashemite family structure”. “As for the other aspects, they are under investigation, in accordance with the law,” he said in the letter.
According to the official news agency, Hamza was already under investigation and, between the intercepted communications, there were conversations between foreign intelligence agents and the prince’s wife to arrange for the dispatch of a plane to get the couple out of the country.
Around 16 people have been arrested in connection with the alleged plot. Among Saturday’s detainees are Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadallah, a confidant of the king who later became finance minister and adviser to Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, which raised the possibility that the ‘Saudi Arabia has some kind of participation in a so-called plan in Jordan.
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday called King Abdullah to say that Washington supported Jordan’s actions “to preserve its security and stability,” the governments of the two countries confirmed – the United States had already declared its support after the arrests. said Abdullah is a “key partner”.
Asked by reporters if he was concerned about the situation in Jordan, Biden replied that he was not. “I just called [ao rei Abdullah] say he has a friend in america [e que] stay strong.”
The country on Tuesday (6) banned all media and social media users from posting any content related to the Hamza investigations. Events could affect Jordan’s image as an island of stability in the troubled Middle East.
Hamza was raised by his mother, Queen Noor, to succeed King Hussein (1935-1999), who ruled for nearly five decades. However, another son, Abdullah, was made heir and ascended to the throne in 1999. In 2004, Abdullah removed Hamza from the post of crown prince and gave the post to his son, also known as Hussein.
Since then, Hamza has tried to gain popularity among the important tribes of the country. Opposition figures approached him, which the king saw 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.
King Abdullah was able to bring political stability to the country and gain stature as a prominent Arab leader whose message 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”.
After the arrests, the Saudi royal court expressed full support for King Abdullah, as well as Egypt, Lebanon and Bahrain.
Queen Noor defended her son. “Pray for truth and justice to prevail for all innocent victims of this perverse slander,” the monarch wrote on her social media.
Most politicians believe Prince Hamza does not pose a threat, as 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 King Hussein.