Jordan's Senate rallies behind King Abdullah and warns public to be wary of 'rumours'

Jordan and its king are a 'red line', the speaker said in meeting marking the country's centenary

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Jordan's Senate Speaker Faisal Al Fayez has said that he stands with King Abdullah, during a pre-scheduled session marking the country's centenary, in the capital Amman on Sunday.

He urged the public to disregard "rumours," following the arrest of a former senior adviser to the royal court on Saturday, along with a junior member of the royal family.

Mr Al Fayez told the upper chamber that Jordan would remain "steadfast" and a "bulwark" against what he called "malicious conspiracies" that aimed to destabilise the country and cause divisions.

"Jordan and the king are a red line," he said.

Mr Al Fayez set the tone for the special session that took place a day after former King Hussein's son, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein – the half-brother of King Abdullah – sent a recorded video message through his lawyer to the BBC claiming that he was under house arrest.

"[Jordan's] wellbeing has been put second by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, financial interests, that its corruption is more important than the lives and dignity and future of the 10 million people who live here," Prince Hamzah said in the recorded message.

The Jordanian military high command and government media outlets denied the claim.

Queen Noor Al Hussein, Prince Hamzah's mother, prayed for "the innocent victims" of "wicked slander", in a tweet on Sunday, in what appears to be a message in support of her son.

"God bless them and keep them safe," she wrote.

The official Petra news agency announced that former adviser to the king Bassem Awadallah and a junior member of the royal family, Sharif Hassan ben Zaid had been arrested on "security grounds."

"Is toying with people's emotions and playing the victim in line with our ethos, principles and values?" Mr Al Fayez said in his opening statement.

The speaker accused "opposers" of exploiting the public's worsening situation amid the pandemic.

Covid-19 has weighed heavily on the economy which contracted by five per cent in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The president of Jordan's Parliament, Abdelmonem Al Odat, echoed Mr Al Fayez's comments saying that Jordan had "decisively and firmly resolved any compromise to its security and stability" through the actions taken against "opposers" on Saturday.