What to learn about Jordan, the U.S. ally that confronted an alleged coup try

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been spared a lot of the political upheaval that’s rocked different capitals within the Center East over the previous decade.

Nevertheless it has seen pro-democracy protest actions, been economically damage by the coronavirus pandemic, and struggled to host greater than 1 million refugees displaced by the battle in neighboring Syria.

What you have to learn about Jordan:

Who’s Jordan’s King Abdullah II?

King Abdullah II, 59, has led Jordan since 1999. His household, the Hashemites, hint their lineage again to the prophet Muhammad.

Abdullah is the oldest son of the revered late King Hussein of Jordan and his second spouse, Princess Muna. Abdullah is the half brother of Hamzeh, who was detained as a part of the alleged palace coup try.

Abdullah was educated overseas, together with in England and america. He has additionally served in Jordan’s armed forces. He has 4 youngsters along with his spouse Queen Rania, who’s of Palestinian descent.

Abdullah has sought to solid Jordan as a reasonable and steady regional pressure, and himself as a contemporary face of the nation’s constitutional monarchy. Criticizing the king, nonetheless, is a criminal offense in Jordan, whereas many different political rights and freedoms of expression are restricted.

Lately, Abdullah has confronted a number of waves of protests over financial points, in addition to requires extra political freedoms. Up to now, he’s efficiently staved off these threats by reshuffling his authorities and making some political concessions.

What’s Jordan’s fashionable historical past?

Jordan formally declared its independence from colonial British rule in 1946. Shortly afterward, Jordan joined within the combat in opposition to newly established Israel within the 1948 Arab-Israeli battle. On the battle’s conclusion, Jordan managed East Jerusalem and the West Financial institution, and was dwelling to many Palestinian refugees. Jordan then misplaced management of those territories to Israel within the 1967 battle.

By some estimates, about half of Jordanians right this moment are of Palestinian origin. The political system, nonetheless, has traditionally favored the nation’s conventional tribes and rural populations, typically known as East Bankers to tell apart them from initially West Financial institution Palestinians. (Some Palestinians in Jordan right this moment have citizenship, whereas others don’t.) Public sector jobs have additionally been dominated by Jordanians from tribal and rural backgrounds, whereas Palestinians have performed a key function in creating the nation’s non-public sector.

This tentative stability, nonetheless, has over time been threatened by elements reminiscent of cuts to the general public sector which have eroded the royal household’s conventional energy base.

Why is Jordan a U.S. ally?

Jordan has cultivated shut ties with a succession of U.S. presidents. It has additionally sought to take care of steady relations with its neighbors, together with Israel. A peace treaty with Israel was signed in 1994.

Throughout the Iraq Struggle, Jordan was a key overland conduit to Iraq. It additionally hosted an inflow of Iraqi refugees and served as a base for a lot of worldwide nongovernmental organizations. Extra just lately, Jordan was a significant companion within the U.S.-led marketing campaign in opposition to the Islamic State and has assisted U.S. forces in safety operations across the globe.

As a Sunni Muslim-majority nation, Jordan has historically aligned with others within the area reminiscent of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and in opposition to Iran.

The Hashemite Kingdom can also be eager to protect its function because the custodian of holy Muslim and Christian websites in Jerusalem, together with the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Who’s Prince Hamzeh bin Hussein?

Hamzeh is the oldest son of the late King Hussein and Queen Noor, his American-born fourth spouse. As of Saturday, he was reportedly at his Amman palace on the heart of an investigation into the alleged plot to unseat his older half brother.

In a assertion delivered to the BBC by his lawyer, the previous crown prince denied the allegations and mentioned he was being focused for talking out in opposition to corruption.

“I’m not the particular person chargeable for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption, and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing construction for the final fifteen to twenty years, and has been getting worse by the 12 months,” Hamzeh mentioned within the assertion.

Hamzeh served for 4 years as crown prince earlier than the designation was handed on to Abdullah’s oldest son, Hussein, in 2004. Hamzeh is a widely known determine within the royal household. He has held different positions throughout the monarchy and holds the rank of brigadier in Jordan’s military.

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