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Jordan's King Addresses Public Spat Involving Half-Brother

By VOA News April 07, 2021

Jordan's King Abdullah publicly addressed the rift between him and half-brother Prince Hamzah for the first time Wednesday in a written statement read on Jordan TV.

The king expressed "shock, pain and anger" over the unprecedented public spat in which Hamzah was accused of being involved in a plot to undermine stability in the strategically located country.

"I speak to you today as my family and reassure you that the sedition has been buried," the statement said.

"The challenge of the last few days was not the hardest or the most dangerous to the stability of our nation, but it was the most painful because those who are party to the sedition were from our own home and from outside it," the king said.

"Nothing can come close to the shock and the pain and anger I felt, as a brother, and head of the Hashemite family and as a leader to this dear people," he added.

Tensions came to a head when Hamzah said he had been ordered to stay at home and stop communicating with people outside the country. He vowed to do neither. But on Monday, after the intervention of a mediator, Hamzah signed a statement saying he would remain loyal to the king.

The Associated Press reports there is no sign authorities have released up to 18 other people, including some former senior officials, arrested for their alleged roles in the plot.

Abdullah said Hamzah is "now with his family in his palace under my care," adding that the investigation into the plot was still active.

Jordan's government Tuesday issued a ban on reporting about the incident.

High-level political arrests are rare in Jordan.

The United States and other Arab nations quickly voiced their support for Abdullah.

Hamzah and Abdullah are sons of King Hussein, who ruled Jordan until his death in 1999. When Abdullah became king, he named Hamzah as crown prince, but stripped him of the title five years later.

Hamzah has spoken out against the government before, according to the AP. He has also developed alliances with important tribal leaders, which some say could be a threat to the king.

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