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Jordan: Read the full conversation between Prince Hamzah and army chief

Middle East Eye publishes the full transcript of the stormy meeting on Saturday where Jordan's former crown prince was told he was under veritable house arrest
Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, left, and Major General Yousef Huneiti, right (AFP)

On Saturday evening, the Jordanian military’s chief of staff, Major General Yousef Huneiti, arrived at Prince Hamzah bin Hussein’s Amman palace to deliver a message.

Huneiti told Hamzah, a former crown prince, that his movements must be severely restricted and his social media communications cut.

However, a surreptitious recording was made of their conversation.

Below is a transcript of that meeting:

Chief of staff: ….. participated in previous days, and his royal highness the prince met with people and attended events, and there was discussion over social media and conversations in gatherings about our master the crown prince.

Prince Hamzah: What? Say again?

Chief of staff: About our master the crown prince. And not to mingle with any circles, internally or externally. And adhere to [only] visits to Hashemite family [members], and not to make any tweets.

Prince Hamzah: Shabab [guys], bring the car over, please! Bring the pasha’s car. Please, you are now in Hussein’s house. You come to me to tell me what to do and who to meet with for the sake of my country? And in my own house? Are you threatening me, sir?

Chief of staff: No sir! I am not threatening you.

Prince Hamzah: What are you saying?

Chief of staff: No sir! I would never threaten you.

Prince Hamzah: You are telling me I should not go out and meet people? You are telling me not to mingle? Sir, please!

Chief of staff: Sir, your highness the prince, I came to tell you that our master [King Abdullah II] does not know about this. I am telling you this is the intelligence agencies.

Prince Hamzah: So, you, the intelligence agencies, are threatening me?

Chief of staff: No sir, we are not threatening you.

Prince Hamzah: So, what are you talking to me about?

Chief of staff: We just would like to ….

Prince Hamzah: The state’s mismanagement is because of me? The failure that is happening is because of me? Forgive me, the muddling that is taking place is because of me?

Chief of staff: Your royal highness, if you please …

Prince Hamzah: If you please, you have come here to my house so you and the directors of the agencies can threaten me and tell me ‘don’t leave your house except to visit your own folks’? Sir, get into your car and leave through the door. I respect you and respect your institution, but you cannot say these things in Hussein’s house. Get into your car and get out of the house.

Chief of staff: Your royal highness, if you please …

Prince Hamzah: Sir, please.

Chief of staff: Please your royal highness, do not raise your voice … the people don’t need to ….

Prince Hamzah: What do you mean I should not raise my voice? Do you know what you are saying to me? Sir, do you know what you are saying to me?

Chief of staff: Sir, I know what I am saying to you.

Prince Hamzah: Then, get into your car and get out, you are not welcome here.

Chief of staff: Sir, I have delivered the message [to you].

Prince Hamzah: You have delivered whose message?

Chief of staff: My own message, and the message of the director of General Intelligence Directorate, and the message of the director of public security.

Prince Hamzah: That is what?

Chief of staff: That, sir, you adhere to what I told you.

Prince Hamzah: And that’s what? Please repeat again so as to hear you [well].

Chief of staff: No, no sir.

Prince Hamzah: No, repeat it again so as to hear it [from you].

Chief of staff: Mingling and visiting …

Prince Hamzah: So, what you are saying to me is that I should not mingle with people or visit them. Is this what you are saying to me?

Chief of staff: Sir, and no more tweeting on social media.

Prince Hamzah: What tweets? When was the last time I tweeted? When was the last time I tweeted, sir? My last tweet was …..

Chief of staff: Sir, don’t you see the Facebook?

Prince Hamzah: Sir, I am a free Jordanian, the son of my father. I have every right to mingle with the sons of my people and country and to serve my country as I promised him and made an oath to him while he was on his death bed. And now you come. Sir, forgive me, where were you 20 years ago? I was the crown prince in this country by order from my father, may God have mercy on him. I made an oath to him that I would continue to serve my country and people so long as I am alive. And now, you, after all the muddling that is taking place, and that is not because of me, and that I have nothing do with, you come to tell me to adhere?

Chief of staff: No sir, we are not telling you to adhere. This is a message …

Prince Hamzah: Please sir, be clear with me, a message from who?

Chief of staff: From the directors of the security agencies.

Prince Hamzah: From the directors of the security agencies? You’ve come to threaten me?

Chief of staff: We are not threatening you. We are telling you, sir, that you have crossed red lines.

Prince Hamzah: I have crossed red lines?

Chief of staff: Yes, sir.

Prince Hamzah: Then go away.

Chief of staff: Thank you sir.

Prince Hamzah: Sir, please, I respect you as a person. But this muddling that you are creating in the country will destroy all of us and will destroy the legacy of my fathers and forefathers.

Chief of staff: No sir, it will not destroy us. You need to keep the family united.

Prince Hamzah: Get into your car and drive away. The family … the muddling that is taking place within it is not caused by me. You know who is causing it and I know who is causing it. So, please sir, go away.

Chief of staff: Thank you.

Prince Hamzah: Thank you. And next time you don’t come and threaten me inside my own house, the house of Hussein. Go away.