A high-ranking EU delegation will visit Jordan today following Saturday’s alleged coup attempt.
The enmity between two former royal rivals, King Abdullah II and former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein, erupted into a public scandal when the king accused his half-brother of plotting to “destabilise the country” and placed him under house arrest. Twenty others – mostly East Bank tribesmen traditionally loyal to the regime but now closer to bin Hussein – were simultaneously arrested.
The event has significantly challenged the perceived stability of Jordan, a long-time ally to the US, EU, Israel and Gulf states. However, it is unlikely to shift regional politics or Jordan’s relationship with its allies, which have already indicated support for King Abdullah. This has hindered bin Hussein’s ability to defend his position and could potentially see his popularity increase amid the population’s growing disgruntlement with the government’s economic mismanagement, which bin Hussein has frequently criticised.
Though democratic institutions in the Hashemite Kingdom are on a visible decline, especially due to the economic fallout caused by COVID-19, expect the EU to continue lending full support to its ally, most likely via increased foreign and military aid. For Brussels, maintaining regional stability by continuing its decades-long counter-terrorism alliance with the kingdom will be prioritised over concerns for democratic freedoms.
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Esra is an analyst on the Current Developments division and a member of The Daily Brief’s research team. She specialises in political and security issues with a particular focus on the Middle East and North Africa.