11/29/2004, 00.00
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King Abdallah strips half-brother of Crown Prince title

Amman (AsiaNews) – Jordan's King Abdallah II relieved his half-brother, Prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein, of the duties of Crown Prince overriding the dying wish of his late father King Hussein.

In the letter informing his half-brother of his decision, the King explained that he was freeing him [the Prince] to undertake any mission he will entrust to him.

The whole Middle East is going through difficult times, the King wrote, and Prince Hamzah must devote "every effort to work with utmost energy and capability" for the country.

King Abdallah had made Prince Hamzah crown prince five years ago to fulfill his dying father's wish. But the position is an honorary one that does not entail any authority or responsibility.

AsiaNews spoke to local political observers who agreed that that "under the constitution the King has the right to appoint the Crown Prince", but the decision came as a surprise to many Jordanians who do not understand why this has happened and why now.

According to Salleh Kallab there is no political intrigue but a simple desire of the current King to see his line continue. His eldest son, Prince Hussein, is 10 years old and might be appointed to the position. 

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