Qatar expresses support to Jordan king after arrests

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DOHA, Qatar

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Sunday expressed his country’s support to Jordanian King Abdullah II following a spate of arrests in the kingdom due to “security reasons” late Saturday.

Emir Tamim said in a phone call with the Jordanian monarch that Qatar supports “all decisions taken by King Abdullah to preserve the security and stability of Jordan”, according to Qatar’s state news agency QNA.

On Saturday, former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein and former head of the Jordanian Royal Court Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah were among some 20 people reportedly detained on the grounds that they “pose a threat to Jordan’s stability.”

In a statement by the Jordanian Chief of Staff, Gen. Yousef Huneiti, denied that Prince Hamzah was detained or under house arrest but confirmed he was asked to stop activities that are used to target Jordan’s security and stability.

Prince Hamzah, however, appeared in a video and said he was under house arrest and was accused of being part of meetings that criticized the King.

“I am not part of any conspiracy or nefarious organization or foreign-backed group, as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out,” the prince said.

Prince Hamzah bin Al-Hussein was crown prince in 1999-2004 before King Abdullah II’s eldest son, Hussein bin Abdullah, was appointed to the post.

Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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