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Jordanian prince relinquishes title in protest at country’s management

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — An outspoken half-brother of Jordan’s king relinquished his princely title on Sunday in apparent protest at the way the country is run. It was the latest chapter in an ongoing palace feud that saw the young royal placed under house arrest a year ago.

Prince Hamzah posted the announcement on his official Twitter account. He writes that he was pushed into the decision because his beliefs cannot be reconciled with “the current approaches, policies and methods of our institutions”.

He refrained from directly criticizing King Abdullah II and the ruling elites, as he had done in the past, but his tone signaled that the rift was not mended, as the Royal Court had suggested. in the past.

The Royal Court had no immediate comment.

Abdullah and Hamzah are the sons of King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for nearly half a century before his death in 1999. Abdullah had appointed Hamzah as crown prince upon his succession but stripped him of the title in 2004.

The monarch had placed Hamzah under house arrest last April for his alleged plot to destabilize the western allied kingdom. In a video statement at the time, Hamzah denied the allegations, saying he was being punished for exposing official corruption.

Last month, Hamzah apologized to his brother, according to a letter released by the Royal Court at the time. Hamzah went on to express hope that “we can turn the page on this chapter in the history of our country and our family.”

Analyst Amer Sabaileh said he expected Hamzah’s announcement to rekindle the royal rift that many in Jordan believed had been resolved with the prince’s apology.

Sabaileh noted that Hamzah made the decision unilaterally and announced it on his personal Twitter account, rather than in consultation with the royal family.

“He tries to reconnect with the old narrative,” Sabaileh said of Hamzah. “We’ve come back to the point where he says he’s not happy, he’s still bitter and there’s no reconciliation.”

It was not immediately clear whether Hamzah’s decision to relinquish his title will help restore his freedom of movement. Hamzah has only appeared in public once since the feud. In February, the court announced the birth of Hamzah’s son.

The feud was a rare case of infighting within the Hashemite royal family made public. At one point, Jordan imposed a gag order on reporting on the events, reflecting the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the royal family.

Abdullah had accused his brother of sedition but said the dispute was being resolved within the family and Hamzah remained in his own palace under the king’s protection. Two former senior officials involved in the alleged plot were convicted of sedition and sentenced to 15 years in prison by a state security court. Details of the alleged plot were never made public.

Jordan is a close Western ally and has long been seen as an island of stability in a turbulent region.

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