Jordan's King Abdullah and half-brother Prince Hamzah appear together in show of unity

Visit to their father’s grave on the kingdom’s centenary is the first joint appearance since a rift surfaced last week

Jordan’s King Abdullah II marked the kingdom's centenary on Sunday with a public appearance alongside his half-brother Prince Hamzah bin Hussein.

This came days after their uncle mediated an end to a rift between the two men, which prompted international calls to preserve stability.

Photos published by state media showed King Abdullah and Prince Hamzah at the grave of their father, King Hussein, along with their brothers and cousins.

Between them stood Prince Hassan bin Talal, who last week oversaw the signing of a declaration in which Prince Hamzah reaffirmed his allegiance to the king.

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King Abdullah said in a televised speech on Wednesday that strife in the kingdom had been avoided.

Days earlier, officials said 16 people linked to Prince Hamzah were arrested in a security operation.

Among those arrested were royal family member Sharif Hassan bin Zaid and the former chief of the royal court, Bassem Awadallah.

King Abdullah also laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Amman as part of the centenary events on Sunday.

A military band played requiem music as the king, accompanied by his son, Crown Prince Hussein, laid the wreath at the grounds of Al Hussein Sports City.

The official news agency said the king recited a prayer for the “souls of the brave martyrs who had irrigated with their pure blood the earth of the homeland and the earth of Palestine”.

Modern Jordan originated as the British protectorate of Transjordan on April 11, 1921, after the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1916.

The revolt was led by Sharif Hussein of Makkah and his four sons, one of whom, Abdullah I, was Jordan’s first Hashemite monarch.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, stressed the depth of the UAE's ties with Jordan in messages of congratulations posted on Twitter on Saturday.

"Jordan has love for the people of the Emirates and its leaders since the founding of the state," Sheikh Mohammed wrote in a tweet.

This was accompanied by a video showing Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's Founding Father, receiving King Hussein, and visits to the Emirates by his son and successor, King Abdullah II.

King Abdullah also received phone calls and messages of congratulations from other regional and international leaders.

Britain's Prince Charles sent a message of congratulations in which he praised Jordan's "remarkable and long-standing diplomacy" in building peace in the region over the decades.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also praised Jordan's role in ensuring peace and stability in the region.

"The US is proud to call Jordan an ally and Americans are grateful to count the Jordanian people as our friends," Mr Blinken tweeted.

Updated: April 12, 2021 11:32 AM

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