1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
PoliticsMiddle East

Jordan's king says 'painful' palace crisis over

April 7, 2021

The 59-year-old monarch gave a televised address in his first public remarks on the alleged coup led by his half-brother Hamzah. US President Joe Biden spoke to Abdullah earlier to offer Washington's support.

King Abdullah of Jordan
King Abdullah II said the sedition had been "nipped in the bud"Image: Getty Images/E. M. McCormack

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Wednesday declared the Arab nation's unprecedented political crisis was over after allegations emerged that his half-brother Prince Hamzah plotted to stage a coup.

Authorities accused Hamzah, a former crown prince, of aiming to "destabilize the kingdom's security" with at least 16 people having been arrested.

But the 59-year-old monarch said in an address on state television that Hamzah is currently at the royal palace and is under "care," and that the "sedition came from within and without our one house."

"The sedition has been nipped in the bud, and that our proud Jordan is safe and stable," Abdullah said. "The challenge over the past few days was not the most difficult or dangerous to the stability of our nation, but to me, it was the most painful."

On Sunday, authorities announced "preliminary investigations" that indicated Hamzah was involved with "foreign parties" in "attempts to destabilize the security of the country" and "mobilizing citizens against the state."

Hamzah denied the allegations in a video later during the day.

Who is Prince Hamzah?

Hamzah was appointed crown prince in 1999 in accordance with his father's wishes.

But Abdullah stripped him of the title in 2004 and named his eldest son crown prince instead.

Prince Hamzah al-Hussein
Prince Hamzah issued a statement backing the monarchy Image: Ali Jarekji/REUTERS

After claiming he was put under house arrest Saturday, Hamzah criticized the monarchy and accused the country's leadership of corruption and mismanagement of the kingdom.

But after a statement offering his backing to the current king on Monday, Abdullah said Wednesday that Hamzah had offered his support for the monarchy.

"Prince Hamzah pledged before the family to follow in the steps of the ancestors, remain loyal to their mission, and to put Jordan's interest, constitution, and laws above all considerations," Abdullah said.

What does it mean for Jordan and the region?

The crisis brought to light divisions in the country that is commonly regarded as pro-Western and a  stabilizing nation in the Middle East.

Jordan borders Israel and the occupied West Bank, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

The US has a military base there and is home to some 2 million exiled Palestinians and more than half a million Syrian refugees.

US President Joe Biden called  Abdullah on Wednesday to express his "strong support" for the monarch.

Biden later told reporters: "I just called to tell him that he has a friend in America. Stay strong.”

US President Joe Biden
Biden held a call with the Jordanian king on WednesdayImage: Leigh Vogel/UPI/ Newscom/picture alliance

Russia, Egypt and the Arab League have all expressed their support for Abdullah.

On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Amman for talks with Abdullah.

She said the EU was "ready to continue its long-term partnership and contribute to prosperity and stability."

jf/sms (AFP, AP)