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After alleged coup attempt, Jordan's King Abdullah signals end to royal feud

By SHIRA RUBIN AND SARAH DADOUCH | The Washington Post | Published: April 7, 2021

TEL AVIV — Jordan's King Abdullah II said on Wednesday that the "discord" that has roiled the kingdom for days has "been stopped," signaling a resolution to the rare royal rift that resulted in the house arrest of Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the former crown prince, and the detention of several Jordanian officials who were accused of plotting a foreign-backed coup against the monarchy.

"The challenge of the last few days has not been the hardest or most dangerous on the stability of our country, but it has been the most hurtful for me, and that's because the discord came from inside our unified house and from outside of it," said King Abdullah in a statement.

"Prince Hamzah has, in front of the family, committed to walk the path of our ancestors, and to be faithful to their message and to place Jordan's interest and constitution and laws above all else. And Hamzah today is with his family at his palace under my care."

Jordan's royal court said in a statement on Wednesday that Abdullah had received a call from President Joe Biden, who "expressed the complete solidarity of the United States of America with Jordan, and its support to the kingdom's procedures and decisions to preserve its security and stability."

On Saturday, the Jordanian military placed Hamzah, the king's half-brother, under house arrest and arrested at least 16 other high-ranking Jordanian officials on charges of "promoting sedition," with the collaboration of unnamed foreign entities.

From house arrest on Saturday night, Hamzah sent a video to the BBC in which he expressed a scathing critique of the monarchy, but on Monday he signed a loyalty pledge to the king.

The United States, in addition to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and a slew of other regional allies, quickly voiced support for the monarch on Saturday.

But speculation about the alleged foreign involvement intensified after a high-ranking Saudi delegation, headed by a Saudi minister for foreign affairs, arrived in Amman for an unscheduled visit on Monday. During meetings with Jordanian counterparts, the Saudi officials requested the release of Bassem Awadullah, one of the prominent Jordanians arrested on Saturday, according to a senior Middle Eastern intelligence official whose government monitored the events.

Awadullah is a former senior official in the royal court and former special Jordanian representative to the Saudi government.

Hamzah, 41, has held multiple positions within the monarchy and is a brigadier general in the army. With his trim mustache and checkered kaffiyeh headdress, he is often likened to his father, the late, widely revered King Hussein. Hamzah and Abdullah are his sons, and they have different mothers.

Hamzah served as Jordan's crown prince for four years until 2004, when the title was transferred to Abdullah's eldest son, Hussein.