Jordanian King Abdullah’s half brother Prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein was told to halt actions used to target the country’s “security and stability,” the military said Saturday.In a statement published on the state news agency, the military said this was part of a broader security investigation in which a former minister, a member of the royal family and unnamed others were detained.”What has been published about allegations about the arrest of his highness Prince Hamzah is not true but he was told to stop activities that are being exploited to target Jordan’s security and stability,” said Jordanian army chief Yusef Huneity.Two people familiar with the situation told Reuters that security forces had arrived at Prince Hamzah’s house and had begun an investigation.They said he had not been arrested. An official source also told the state news agency that Prince Hamzah had not been arrested. People familiar with the situation said it could have been related to a plot to destabilize the country, a key ally of the United States.’Threat to country’s stability’The Washington Post said Jordanian authorities detained Hamzah, a former crown prince, and arrested nearly 20 other people after what officials called a “threat to the country’s stability.””We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in an email on Saturday. “King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support.”Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, the Saudi royal court and the Gulf Cooperation Council’s secretary-general all voiced their support for King Abdullah on Saturday.FILE – Jordan’s King Abdullah II gives a speech during the inauguration of the 19th Parliament’s non-ordinary session, in Amman, Dec. 10, 2020, in this photo released by the Royal Hashemite Court.King Abdullah dismissed Hamzah as heir to the throne in 2004 in a move that consolidated his power. The state news agency said U.S.-educated Bassem Awadallah, a longtime confidant of the king who later became minister of finance and adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were detained along with other unnamed figures. It gave no details.Government officials were not immediately available for comment.Detaining top officials and royal family members is rare in Jordan, seen as one of the Arab world’s most stable countries.Prince Hamzah, who had been groomed by his mother, Queen Noor, to succeed his late father, King Hussein, has been pushed into the political wilderness since he was dismissed as crown prince.He has been trying to win popularity with the country’s prominent tribes, and some opposition figures have rallied around him, a move that has been viewed with displeasure by King Abdullah, officials familiar with the situation said.Succeeded fatherAbdullah succeeded his father, King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for nearly five decades.The Jordanian Hashemite dynasty’s tradition under the 1952 constitution gives the succession to the eldest son, but the monarch retains the option of naming a brother.King Abdullah has succeeded in bringing political stability to the country and gaining stature as a prominent Arab leader whose message of moderation has found an echo, especially in Western forums.Awadallah, who was a driving force behind economic reforms before he resigned as chief of the royal court in 2008, has long faced stiff resistance from the old guard and an entrenched bureaucracy that flourished for years on government perks.Jordan’s powerful intelligence agency, with a pervasive influence in public life, has played a bigger public role since the introduction of emergency laws at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, something civic groups say violates civil and political rights.Jordanian riot police last month broke up protests in Amman and other cities called to mark the 10th anniversary of Arab Spring pro-democracy demonstrations, and authorities detained dozens of activists, witnesses said.  

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