- Deputy prime minister Ayman Safadi said the government has foiled a plot, following several arrests.
- Prince Hamza, the Jordanian King’s half-brother, said he is under house arrest.
- Allies, including Saudi Arabia and the US, expressed support for the king.
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The deputy prime minister of Jordan, Ayman Safadi, has said a plot to destabilize the country has been foiled.
According to Bloomberg, the plot allegedly involved King Abdullah II’s half-brother, former Crown Prince Hamza Bin Hussein, Safadi said at a news conference in Amman, the nation’s capital, on Sunday.
More than 16 people were taken into custody, he said, including Prince Hamza, who was placed under house arrest on Saturday.
“There was an effort to target Jordan’s security and stability, this effort was foiled,” Safadi said, but gave no evidence to back up the claims.
Jordan, a US ally, often acts as a force for moderation in the turbulent region, making its stability essential. In August, the US provided the kingdom with $700 million in aid.
On Saturday, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Major General Yousef Huneiti, denied reports that Prince Hamza had been arrested. He added that he had been ordered to “stop activities that are being exploited to target Jordan’s security and stability.”
Prince Hamza has denied the allegations, telling the BBC he was “not part of any conspiracy,” in a video provided by his lawyer.
“There is no conspiracy here. Whatever concoction they’re attempting to create or whatever narrative that they’re attempting to sell, the basic fact is that this is all about human dignity here, freedom from arbitrary government, freedom from invasive security apparatuses and services…” he said in the video.
In 2004, King Abdullah II dismissed Prince Hamza as heir, opting for his eldest son, Hussein, and consolidating his power.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and other Arab states expressed support for King Abdullah, Bloomberg reported.
—Noor Al Hussein (@QueenNoor) April 4, 2021
The US has also vocalized support. State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “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.”
Prince Hamza’s mother, Queen Noor al Hussein, has expressed support for her son, calling the allegations “wicked slander.”