The Jordanian king claims that the authorities thwarted the riot with the weekend arrests of a former heir to the throne and 17 other people, describing the events as the “most painful” ordeal for his rule.
“Nothing can come close to the shock and pain and anger I felt as the brother and head of the Hashemite family and as the leader of this dear people,” the king said in a written statement Wednesday.
Speaking four days after Prince Hamza̵
The belated remarks did not seriously help the social rift in the ruling family over the past 20 years and did not offer clarification of officials’ allegations that the foreign government supported a coup that Hamza was in the final stages of organizing.
However, they drew attention to the dilemma faced by Abdullah, who, by avoiding public address, aimed to challenge his rule without being seen checking the affiliation of the country’s powerful tribes. Hamza was a popular and charismatic king, but the depth of his ties to Jordanian society remains unclear.
Where tribes stand in the arrests of alleged conspirators is crucial to the fate of a monarch plagued by economic problems exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The economic downturn has engulfed Jordan’s powerful patronage networks and made it difficult to settle between a ruler and clans, which has been at the heart of the kingdom for decades.
Hamza posted two provocative and extremely unusual video statements while under house arrest, and a recording of his meeting with the Jordanian military chief appeared on Monday.
King Abdullah claims that Hamza, whom he overthrew in 2004 in favor of his son, has now signed a pledge of support. “He has pledged to the (Hashemite) family to follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, to be faithful to their message and to put the interests of Jordan, its constitution and its laws above all other considerations.
“The challenge in recent days has not been the most difficult or the most dangerous for the stability of our country, but it has been the most painful for me, because the troubles and discord were inside and outside our home.”
What has been described as a Jordanian version of The Crown has intrigued across the country and the region and sparked widespread speculation about the foreign state allegedly behind a conspiracy that Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi suggested was stopped at Zero Hour.
Saudi Arabia has categorically denied any involvement and described allegations that it was in a relationship with Hamza and key aides as “nonsense.” Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan flew to Amman on Wednesday to meet with Safadi. Officials said the visit was intended to “express full solidarity with King Abdullah of Jordan and his government”.
Joe Biden called Abdullah on Wednesday, reaffirming U.S. support for a regional partner that has been paramount to Washington’s regional security outlook for decades but whose role has been diminished in the Trump administration.
Biden has signaled that he seeks to restore relations on a more conventional basis, supporting a monarch who has been at the heart of the fight against Islamic State while protecting Israel’s eastern border through a long-standing security pact.