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    Jordanian King Abdullah II delivers a speech at the parliament (file)

    Jordan's King Sacks Intel Chief, Senior Officials Amid Plot Suspicions – Reports

    © AFP 2019 / KHALIL MAZRAAWI
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    Jordanian King Abdullah II fired several senior officials, including the general intelligence chief over the past week following reports of a plot to destabilise the kingdom.

    The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas, citing anonymous sources, reported that several senior and influential Jordanian figures had conspired to hold a mass protest outside the royal palace in Amman to demonstrate a lack of public confidence in Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and thereby create instability in the kingdom.

    The Jordanian King replaced the director of the General Intelligence Department, General Adnan al-Jundi, who held one of the most influential positions in the country. The palace issued a statement stating that the king had decided to retire Jundi, replacing him with General Ahmed Husni, who has served in several senior intelligence posts.

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    The king said in the statement, cited by Haaretz, that the move was prompted by complaints of shortcomings in the management of the intelligence system and finding that some people were using their status and positions to advance personal interests at the expense of those of the kingdom. Before Jundi, the king also replaced several officials in his bureau, including the head of policy and information.

    Jordanian media reported that changes had also been made in the defence establishment and police force, with new commanders appointed for some regions. According to Jordanian officials, additional changes are expected to take place at the palace and in defence-related positions.

    Haaretz also noted that Jordanian officials are worried about the repercussions of the Middle East peace proposal that the Trump administration is gearing up to present. The concern is that the plan could destabilize the kingdom and undermine its relations with the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and other Arab countries.

    The Jordanian King has previously said that he has been subject to heavy pressure in the course of preparations to release the plan, noting that Jordan “will not compromise on issues of principle such as the Palestinian right to establish an independent state based on the 1967 borders, as well as the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees”.

    Jordanian officials have firmly denied reports that the kingdom will grant citizenship to more than a million Palestinian refugees in exchange for generous economic assistance, estimated at tens of billions of dollars, as part of the peace plan. A senior Jordanian official told Haaretz on Thursday that King Abdullah has set clear red lines and would not “surrender to dictates that infringe on the Palestinians’ basic rights.” Jordan would not become an alternative to a Palestinian state, the official added.

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