Jordanian Royal, Palace Officials Arrested Over Alleged Plot to Overthrow King Abdullah II – Reports

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Apart from the members of the royal family, the alleged plot also involved security officials and tribal leaders.

By Asya Geydarova for Sputnik News

Hassan bin Zaid, a member of Jordan’s royal family and envoy to Saudi Arabia, and King Abdullah’s long-time confidant Basem Ibrahim Awadallah were arrested on Saturday, state media reported.

“Jordanian citizens, Hassan bin Zaid, Basem Ibrahim Awadallah, and others were arrested,” the state news agency Petra reported, citing a security source.

The two senior palace officials and the unnamed “others” were reportedly arrested for security reasons after a “close security follow-up.” An investigation is underway.

The agency later denied media reports claiming that Hamzah bin Al Hussein, the king’s half-brother and former crown prince, had been detained or put under house arrest. Prior to that, The Washington Post reported, citing a Jordanian palace advisor, that some 20 officials were arrested over allegedly plotting a coup d’etat, ousting King Abdullah II and replacing him with Prince Hamzah in a move that could seriously “threaten the country’s stability.”

Apart from the members of the royal family, the alleged plot also involved security officials and tribal leaders. A Jordanian palace advisor told the Post that more arrests could follow.

Apart from the members of the royal family, the alleged plot also involved security officials and tribal leaders. A Jordanian palace advisor told the Post that more arrests could follow.

Following the reports, the US Department of State said on Saturday that King Abdullah is a “key partner” of the United States and “has our full support”, Reuters reported, citing an email by State Department spokesman Ned Price. Jordan is a key US partner in the Middle East, working as an intelligence hub for Washington. In late March, media reported that Jordan had unveiled a new defense agreement with the US, which allowed free entry of American military personnel, aircraft and vehicles into the Kingdom.

According to the Congressional Research Service, there were approximately 3,145 US soldiers deployed to the Kingdom as of June 2020, with the official aim of combating terrorists and promoting stability in the region.

Egypt has also expressed support for Jordan’s King Abdullah II In the wake of media reports. “The Arab Republic of Egypt expresses its full solidarity and support to […] His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Hussein in maintaining the security and stability of the kingdom against any attempts to overthrow [him]. Egypt emphasizes [that] the security and stability of brotherly Jordan is an inseparable part of Egyptian and Arab national security,” the spokesman of the Egyptian Presidency wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

In early March, the Jordanian King approved the cabinet reshuffle and the appointment of 10 new ministers in the government of Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh. He also approved the resignation of 12 former ministers.

By Asya Geydarova for Sputnik News

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