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Gulf monarchies back Jordan king after security sweep

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A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on March 23, 2021 shows Jordanian King Abdullah II speaking during a meeting with the speaker and heads of a number of committees at the House of Representatives in the capital Amman. (Photo by – / Jordanian Royal Palace / AFP)


Jordan’s powerful Gulf allies voiced support for King Abdullah II Sunday, after a several senior figures were detained and a half-brother to the monarch said he was under house arrest.

In a video published by the BBC, former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein said several of his friends had been arrested, his security detail removed and his communications cut, adding that kingdom had become “stymied in corruption, in nepotism, and in misrule”.

The United Arab Emirates on Sunday voiced its “full solidarity” with Jordan.

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In a statement on its WAM news agency, it said it backed “any measures taken by King of Jordan, King Abdullah II… to preserve the security and stability of Jordan and defuse any attempt that seeks to jeopardise either”.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia had swiftly reacted, also voicing its “full support… for the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein to safeguard security and stability”.

The remaining four members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman also voiced their support in similar terms.

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The oil-rich GCC states are key backers of resource-poor Jordan, which depends heavily on external aid.

King Abdullah had appointed Hamzah crown prince in 1999 in line with Hussein’s dying wishes, but in 2004 stripped him of the title and gave it to his own eldest son Hussein.

The army denied Saturday that Prince Hamzah, who holds no official position, had been detained.

The Washington Post said the former crown prince was “placed under restriction” as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.

Official news agency Petra said a former aide to the royal family Bassem Awadallah and an an unspecified number of other suspects had been arrested.

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