Middle East shows support for Jordan’s King as crown prince arrested

Cairo, Apr 4 (efe-epa).- Several Middle Eastern countries on Sunday expressed their support for Jordan’s King Abdullah after a series of high profile detentions that reportedly include his half-brother, former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein, being placed under house arrest.

In a video sent to the BBC by his attorney, Hamza said that the chief of the general staff of the Jordanian armed forces official had told him he could not “go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them” after allegedly attending a meeting where the Jordanian leadership came in for criticism.

Jordan’s Armed Forces on Saturday night denied that Hamza had been arrested, but said it had ordered him to stop activities that could undermine “the security and stability” of the country.

Several high-level people in Jordan, including a royal family member whose identity was not revealed, and a former advisor to the king, were reportedly arrested on Saturday night over “security reasons”, which is said to be an alleged coup plot.

In the video, Hamza denied being involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government, but said he was “not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse. And I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in their institutions.

“It has reached a point where no-one is able to speak or express opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened.”

The Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Sunday pledged “full solidarity with the measures taken by the Jordanian leadership to maintain the security of the kingdom and preserve stability,” the organization said in a statement.

Persian Gulf countries also backed the Jordan king, stressing the need to preserve “the security and stability” of the country.

Saudi Arabia expressed “full support, as well as its full capabilities, for all decisions and actions taken by King Abdullah II bin al Hussein and His Highness Crown Prince, Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, to maintain security and stability,” according to a statement published by the state-run SPA news agency.

The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman have also conveyed support for the Jordan ruler. EFE-EPA

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