Jordan arrests senior officials for 'security reasons'
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Jordan arrests senior officials for ‘security reasons’

Jordan arrests senior officials for ‘security reasons’

A royal family member and a former minister are among those who have been arrested

Jordan arrested a royal family member and other senior officials, in a series of rare incidents in the kingdom.

Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a royal family member who served as the King’s former envoy to Saudi Arabia, was arrested on security concerns along with former minister Basem Ibrahim Awadallah, and others, according to the state-run Petra news agency. The report didn’t give further details. The Washington Post reported that as many as 20 people were arrested.

The nation’s army also asked former Crown Prince Hamza Bin Hussein to cease “movements and activities that might be used to target Jordan’s security and stability,” as part of an ongoing investigation, according to Petra news.

Security personnel and armoured vehicles were seen parked outside royal palaces and patrolling the capital’s Dabouq neighbourhood.

Saudi Arabia quickly responded to the arrests, saying it supported the Jordanian king’s decisions and measures to preserve security and stability and face any attempt to affect them.

The UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also voiced its support for King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Jordan is a close ally of the US in the Middle East and receives annual aid from Washington. The US most recently provided Jordan with $700m in August.

“We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support.”

With inputs from Bloomberg

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