Royal drama unfolds at court, but a prince in the center is absent – .

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Royal drama unfolds at court, but a prince in the center is absent – .


Saudi officials confirmed the delegation flew to Jordan, but said it was to express solidarity with King Abdullah and denied that they were seeking Mr. Awadallah’s release.

“I think they pushed for Awadallah’s release because they knew he had incriminating information and they wanted him to come out,” said another former intelligence official, Bruce Riedel.

Mr. Riedel, a former CIA officer, said Jordan was able to resist Saudi pressure to fire Mr. Awadallah after CIA director William Burns, a former ambassador to Jordan, asked the White House to intervene. The CIA declined to comment on the intervention.

But President Biden also called on King Abdullah to lend his support while the Saudi intelligence chief was in Amman. And King Abdullah is due to visit the White House next month.

The kind of support offered by the White House in April, at the height of the drama, would have been unlikely under the Trump administration, when relations between the two countries deteriorated to their worst point in decades.

Jordan initially blamed anonymous outside influences in announcing the alleged plot, but has since been careful not to upset Saudi Arabia, where hundreds of thousands of Jordanians are employed. If they were expelled, the Jordanian economy would be in danger of collapsing.

Mr. Awadallah, now economic adviser to the Saudi crown prince, was once one of the most trusted confidants of the King of Jordan, serving as the kingdom’s finance minister and then head of the royal court of King Abdullah . He holds Jordanian, American and Saudi nationalities.

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