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Jordanian FM Accuses Prince Hamzah Of Plotting To Destabilize Country

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Jordan’s foreign minister Sunday said an alleged plot by the former crown prince to undermine the government had been foiled. 

Ayman Safadi told reporters that Prince Hamzah, the younger, half-brother of King Abdullah II, had liaised with foreign parties over a plot to destabilize the country.

Safadi, who also holds the title of the deputy prime minister, did not specify which countries were involved in the alleged plot.

Division in the ruling royal family erupted into the open late Saturday when Hamzah announced he could not leave his home and state media reported that senior officials had been detained in a security probe. Hamzah sent a video recording to the BBC saying he was being silenced and lashed out at authorities saying the country had become “stymied in corruption, nepotism and misrule.”

Jordan’s military told Hamzah to stop activities targeting the country’s “stability and security.”

“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,” Hamzah said in the video.

Hamzah’s mother, American-born Queen Noor, defended her son on Twitter, referring to the ordeal as “wicked slander.” 

The United States and Gulf states including Saudi Arabia expressed strong support for Abdullah.

“King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support,” Ned Price, the U.S. State Department spokesperson, wrote on Twitter.

Hamzah is the eldest son of Queen Noor and the late King Hussein. After Hussein’s death in 1999, Abdullah ascended to the throne and named Hamzah as crown prince. Five years later, Abdullah stripped him of the title. The position would have put Hamzah next in line for the throne. Abdullah named his eldest son, Hussein, as crown prince.

Analysts have noted that public divisions within the royal family are rare in Jordan.

Dale Gavlak contributed to this report from Amman, Jordan.

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