Jordan's King Abdullah says civil strife has been prevented

King's televised speech follows briefing on Sunday delivered by deputy prime minister

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2020  photo released by the Royal Hashemite Court, Jordan's King Abdullah II gives a speech during the inauguration of the 19th Parliament's non-ordinary session, in Amman Jordan.  Jordan’s army chief of staff says the half-brother of King Abdullah II was asked to “stop some movements and activities that are being used to target Jordan’s security and stability.” The army chief of staff denied reports Saturday, April 3, 2021, that Prince Hamzah was arrested. He said an investigation is still ongoing and its results will be made public “in a transparent and clear form.”   (Yousef Allan/The Royal Hashemite Court via AP, File)

Civil strife has been prevented, Jordan's King Abdullah II assured the nation on Wednesday, in the first public address since allegations surfaced against his half-brother.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein was blamed for actions that could have destabilised the country.

"I speak to you today, my family and my tribe, in whom I place my implicit trust and from whom I draw determination, to assure you that the sedition has been nipped in the bud, and that our proud Jordan is safe and stable, and it will always remain," King Abdullah said in a speech read out on state TV.

READ MORE: King Abdullah's full address

On Saturday evening, Jordanian authorities arrested 16 people, including royal family member Sharif Hassan ben Zaid and former chief of the royal court Bassem Awadallah on “security charges”.

King Abdullah addressed the allegations on Wednesday, saying the past few days had been painful for him on a personal level.

“My first responsibility is to serve Jordan and protect its people, its constitution and its laws,” he said.

“Nothing and no one comes before Jordan’s security and stability, and it was imperative to take the necessary measures to honour that responsibility.”

King Abdullah said the challenge was not the most difficult or the most dangerous for the stability of Jordan, but it had been the most emotionally taxing.

“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," he said.

"Sedition came from within and without our one house, and nothing compares to my shock, pain and anger as a brother and as the head of the Hashemite family, and as a leader of this proud people."

Prince Hamzah, who was crown prince from 1999 to 2004, was not arrested but the military asked him to “stop movements and activities that are employed to target the security of Jordan and its stability”.

“Hamzah is today in his palace, with his family, under my care,” King Abdullah said.

He said his brother had committed before the Hashemite family to "keep the same course as his fathers and grandfathers, and to be loyal to their heritage", putting Jordan, its interests and its constitution above any other considerations.

"As for the other aspects [in the case], they are being investigated according to the law until we reach a conclusion," King Abdullah said.

"And we will deal with the outcome within the institutions of our deeply rooted state in a way that preserves justice and transparency."

Mediation by King Abdullah's uncle, Prince Hassan bin Talal, helped to settle the rare public feud on Monday.

Prince Hamzah signed a letter pledging loyalty to the king, in the presence of witnesses from the royal family.

In the hours before Wednesday's speech, Jordan's public prosecutor rescinded a local ban on coverage of the rift between the brothers.

Hassan Al Abdallat instituted the ban on Tuesday to “preserve the secrecy of the investigations conducted by the security services into the associates of Prince Hamzah".

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