Mediation cuts off Jordan’s royal family battle, says Prince Hamzah’s lawyer

Mediation between Jordan’s King Abdullah II and his outspoken half-brother, Prince Hamzah, successfully escalated one of the kingdom’s most serious political crises in decades, the castle and a confidante told the prince on Monday.

The apparent resolution of the unprecedented public feud limited a weekend of palace drama during which the king had placed Hamzah under house arrest for alleged planning with foreign supporters to destabilize Jordan, a major Western ally.

Jordanian authorities had accused the former crown prince of being involved in a “malicious conspiracy”, along with two leading Jordanian officials. Hamzah, 41, denied the allegations, saying he spoke out against corruption and mismanagement.

The announcement of the successful mediation came after Abdullah’s uncle Hassan met Hamzah on Monday.

The mediation took place at Hassan’s home at the Royal Hashemite Court. Hamzah was joined by his brother Hashem and three of their cousins.

“Given the developments of the last two days, I put myself before His Majesty the King,” said the statement signed by Hamzah. He said he would remain loyal to the king and Jordan’s constitution.

Malik R. Dahlan, a professional mediator and friend of the family, then issued a separate statement saying the mediation has “been successful and I expect a resolution soon.” Dahlan is the rector of the Quraysh Department of Law & Policy, of which Hamzah Al-Hussein is a council supervisor.

He said that “this unfortunate incident was the result of a clumsy act by a senior security official and a misrepresentation by a government official”, adding that “it should have been a family matter.”

This was an obvious reference to Saturday’s events when Jordan’s army chief visited Hamzah and – according to the prince’s description – imposed restrictions on his movement and ability to communicate with the outside world.

Earlier on Monday, tensions seemed to be high in the kingdom, valued by the West as a stable ally in a volatile region. A recording circulated online in which Hamzah sounded defiant and said he would not accept orders from the army chief.

“The army chief of staff came to me and issued threats to the heads of security agencies,” Hamzah said in the recording. “I recorded his comments and distributed them to my acquaintances abroad as well as my family if anything happens.”

“I do not want to escalate now, but of course I will not stick when he tells me ‘you must not go out, tweet or get in touch with people and you may only see family members,'” he said. that’s something I find unacceptable. ”

The authenticity of the recording was confirmed by a person close to the prince who spoke on terms of anonymity due to security issues. The individual said that the recording was a few days old and was made after the army chief threatened the prince.

Jordan’s chief of staff, General Yousef Huneiti, said on Monday that the country’s armed forces and security agencies “have the power and experience” to deal with any developments that may occur internally or in the region.

He made his comments as he took part in the “Shield of the Nation”, an exercise involving several brigades, special forces, border guards and the Royal Air Force in the eastern region of the kingdom, the state news agency Petra said. The exercise did not seem to be related to the weekend incidents as such exercises are planned well in advance.

Huneiti said the troops would confront anyone who “seeks to jeopardize the nation’s security, intimidate its citizens and threaten the security and stability of the empire.”

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday that the prince had recorded calls and sent them to foreign sources. He did not give details of the alleged plan or say what other countries are alleged to be involved in. Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family.

The US and Arab governments quickly sat down with Abdullah, reflecting Jordan’s strategic importance. The kingdom borders Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the occupied West Bank.

We are closely following the reports from Jordan and we have been in contact with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner in the United States and he has our full support.

– Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) April 3, 2021

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric noted Jordan’s “important role in the Middle East, and its peace and security and the country’s stability are critically important.”

Domestically, Hamzah’s unprecedented criticism of the ruling class – without naming the king – can support growing complaints about poor governance and human rights violations in Jordan.

Abdullah and Hamzah are both sons of King Hussein, who remains a beloved figure two decades after his death. When Abdullah ascended the throne in 1999, he appointed Hamzah crown prince, only to recall the title five years later. Uncle Hassan had also been Crown Prince but was removed shortly before Hussein’s death.

While Abdullah and Hamzah are said to have good relations in general, Hamzah has sometimes spoken out against government policies, and in recent times he has forged ties with powerful tribal leaders in a move that was seen as a threat to the king.

(AP)