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Saudi denies asking for release of ex-director of Jordan's royal court

Bassem Awadallah, former director of the Jordanian royal court on 20 June 2006 in the ancient city of Petra [JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP via Getty Images]
Bassem Awadallah, former director of the Jordanian royal court on 20 June 2006 in the ancient city of Petra [JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP via Getty Images]

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denied reports that the kingdom had requested the release of Bassem Awadallah, former director of the Jordanian royal court who has been arrested on charges of "attempting to destabilise the security of Jordan."

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said in response to an inquiry made by American news network CNN: "The minister [Prince Faisal Bin Farhan] was in Amman to confirm solidarity and support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Kingdom of Jordan," noting that "the minister did not discuss any other issues or submit any requests."

Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, announced that Awadallah was responsible for conducting communications with external parties, in coordination with the former Jordanian Crown Prince, Hamza Bin Hussein, half-brother of King Abdullah II.

Safadi stated that initial investigations indicated the existence of contacts between people from Prince Hamza's entourage and foreign entities with the aim of inciting against the state, destabilising the security of the country, and distorting facts.

READ: Jordan says prince liaised with 'foreign parties' over plot to destabilise country

"The investigations have found links between Basem Awadallah, foreign parties, and the so-called opposition abroad, to work on employing all these contacts and activities to implement vicious plans that affect stability, and achieve goals and intentions related to weakening Jordan's steadfast position on major issues," Safadi added.

The Jordanian minister revealed that the step taken by authorities "came on the day Awadallah was planning to leave Jordan."

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JordanMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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