Jordan king, prince in first joint appearance since ‘plot’ crisis

Jordan’s King Abdullah appeared in public Sunday alongside his half-brother Prince Hamzah, state TV showed, their first joint appearance since a palace crisis involving the prince rocked the kingdom.

The images showed a group of Hashemite royals at a mausoleum where their ancestors are buried.

The palace Twitter account published a picture of the group at a cemetery with the caption “HM King Abdullah II, HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein… (and) Hamzah bin Al Hussein… visit tomb of HM the late King Abdullah I”.

All were dressed in civilian clothes, apart from Hussein, the heir to the throne, who wore military dress.

The government had accused Hamzah — a former crown prince who was sidelined as heir to the throne in favour of Abdullah’s son Hussein in 2004 — of involvement in a conspiracy to “destabilise the kingdom’s security”.

At least 16 people were arrested.

But Abdullah said last Wednesday that Hamzah, who has signed a letter pledging his loyalty to the king following mediation by an uncle, was safe in his palace under his “protection”.

In an address read out in his name on state television, the king added that “sedition has been nipped in the bud”.

Hamzah had been appointed crown prince and heir to the throne in 1999 in line with his father’s wishes, but Abdullah stripped him of the title in 2004 and named his own eldest son Hussein in Hamzah’s place.

Hamzah, after claiming he was put under house arrest early this month, made extensive use of traditional and social media to lash out against his situation.

He accused Jordan’s rulers of corruption and ineptitude in a video message published by the BBC on April 3.

But after a statement voicing his loyalty to the king two days later, Abdullah said last Wednesday that Hamzah had offered his support for the monarchy.