Jordan's palace says estranged prince apologies over plot to unseat monarch


Jordan's King Abdullah received a letter of apology from former Crown Prince Hamza, who was accused last year of trying to replace the monarch, pledging he would never again act against the country's rulers, the royal palace said in a statement on Tuesday.

The palace, which released the text of the letter, said it follows a meeting last Sunday at Prince Hamza's request with his half-brother King Abdullah to ask for "forgiveness". He was accused last April of conspiring to destabilise the monarchy in a foreign-inspired plot.

"I have erred, Your Majesty, and to err is human. I, therefore, bear responsibility for the stances I have taken and the offences I have committed against Your Majesty and our country over the past years," Hamza said in the letter.

"I apologise to Your Majesty, to the people of Jordan, and to our family, for my actions which, God willing, will not be repeated," he added.

The intrigue exposed the first serious rift within the ruling Hashemite family in many years and shook the image of the country as an island of stability in an unpredictable region.

It prompted major Western and regional powers to rally behind King Abdullah in rare public support for a staunch U.S. ally that plays a pivotal role in regional security.

The estranged prince, who had been placed under house arrest after accusing the country's rulers of corruption, had avoided punishment by pledging allegiance to the king shortly after mediation by royal family elders.

A former royal chief adviser, Bassem Awadallah, and a minor royal were sentenced last July to 15 years in jail for their involvement in the alleged plot.

King Abdullah described the crisis as "the most painful" during his 22 years of rule because it came from both inside the royal family and outside it.

"I hope that we can turn the page on this chapter in our country's and our family's history," Hamza said.

Hamza's public apology paved the way for rehabilitating the estranged prince and regaining public duties after being removed from the royal succession, the palace said.


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