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Jordan's army: Prince Hamza not arrested, but asked to stop activities

Jordan's army: Prince Hamza not arrested, but asked to stop activities”

Jordan's army chief said on Saturday that Hamzah was not under arrest, but had been asked to stop "some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan".

Jordan's former crown prince Hamzah and his wife Basma.

Videos posted online showed a heavy police deployment in the Dabouq area near the royal palaces, while the former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein said he was confined to his home. However, regional powers and Western allies, including the USA and United Kingdom, have all voiced support for the king.

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

Prince Hamza is a former crown prince, as his half-brother King Abdullah removed him from the line of succession in 2004.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and Morocco's King Mohammed VI also expressed solidarity with Jordan and their backing of measures taken to protect its stability in calls to King Abdullah.

"I am making this recording to make it clear that I'm not part of any conspiracy or nefarious organization or foreign-backed group as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out", he said.

Hamzah is a popular figure in Jordan, widely seen as pious and modest. But in his televised address, Safadi painted a far different picture, accusing the prince of engaging in a secret plot that would have harmed national security had it not been foiled at the last minute.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was "closely following" the events in its close regional ally.

Safadi did not provide specifics on the alleged plot or say what other countries were purported to have been involved.

Official news agency Petra named former close aides to the royal family Bassem Awadallah, chief of the royal court in 2007-2008, and Sherif Hassan bin Zaid among an unspecified number of suspects arrested.

He accused the prince of seeking to mobilise "clan leaders" against the government, adding that the plot had been "nipped in the bud" at the "zero hour". But the prince has disputed this in a video message.

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Safadi accused Awadallah, now a prominent businessman in the Gulf, of handling the contacts with foreigners.

In a statement to the Walla news site, however, Shaposhnik maintained that he was never a Mossad officer.

Prince Faisal, however, said there was "no such meeting".

King Abdullah II will discuss the situation with Hamzah, his half-brother, directly and within the royal family, Safadi said in a press conference.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and other Arab states joined the U.S.in expressing support for King Abdullah. Jordan borders Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the occupied West Bank.

FILE: Jordan's King Abdullah II (left) laughs with his brother, then-crown prince Hamzah (right), on April 2, 2001, shortly before the Jordanian monarch embarked on a tour of the United States. The kingdom hosts some 3,000 American troops.

"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.

That placed Jordan, which serves as the custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem _ and is home to a large Palestinian population _ in a delicate position.

Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz called Jordan a "strategic ally" and dismissed the turmoil as an "internal Jordanian matter". Jordan, which remained largely untouched by the Arab Spring that swept through Middle Eastern monarchies ten years ago, has been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 7,000 deaths.

Jordan's Prince Hamzah said he would defy orders limiting his freedom of movement after authorities.



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