Jordan's King Abdullah says sedition quashed, country stable

FILE PHOTO: King of Jordan Abdullah II addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

AMMAN (Reuters) -Jordan's King Abdullah said on Wednesday sedition has been quashed after a rift with his half-brother and former heir Prince Hamza, whom the government had accused of links to efforts destabilise the country.

In his first statement since the affair came to light, the monarch said the crisis that shook the stability of the kingdom was the "the most painful" because it came from both inside the royal family and outside it.

"Nothing comes close to what I felt - shock, pain and anger - as a brother and guardian of the Hashemite family and a leader of this dear people," King Abdullah said in a letter published by the state news agency and read out on Jordanian television.

He said the country was now stable and secure. "Hamza today is with his family in his palace under my care," he said.

Hamza pledged allegiance to King Abdullah late on Monday following mediation by the royal family, two days after the military warned him over actions it said were undermining Jordan's security and stability.

The government says Hamza liaised with people linked to foreign parties seeking to destabilise Jordan and that he had been under investigation for some time.

Abdullah said he had decided to deal with Hamza's case "within the framework of the Hashemite family".

"As for the other aspects, they are under investigation, in accordance with the law," he said in the letter.

Officials say between 14 and 16 people have been arrested in connection with the alleged plot.

Jordan banned all news outlets and social media users on Tuesday from publishing any content related to the investigations into Hamza. Reuters has complied with those restrictions which carry criminal penalties.

Jordan's neighbours and allies, including Saudi Arabia, have expressed solidarity with King Abdullah over the security measures in the kingdom.

On Wednesday U.S. President Joe Biden called King Abdullah to say Washington supported Jordan's actions "to preserve its security and stability", Jordan's state news agency reported.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-KhalidiEditing by Dominic Evans and Nick Tattersall)

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