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New Jordan King Shuffles His Aides

March 6, 1999

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ King Abdullah reshuffled his court aides Saturday, bringing in advisors known for their loyalty to his late father, King Hussein.

The shuffle comes two days after Abdullah swore in a Cabinet of technocrats and liberals, urging it to pursue reform and better ties with the U.S., Israel and Gulf Arabs.

The changes appear to be aimed at ridding the hierarchy of loyalists to Abdullah’s uncle, Prince Hassan, who was deposed as crown prince in a January shake-up. King Hussein had accused Hassan of power grabbing.

But palace sources say the changes were planned before Hussein’s death on Feb. 7 and were intended to bring in new blood.

In a royal decree carried by the official Petra news agency, Abdullah named his cousin, Prince Talal, as his National Security Council advisor.

Abdullah Touqan, a member of the Jordanian delegation that negotiated the peace treaty with Israel in 1994, was named as scientific advisor and assistant to Talal at the security council, Petra reported.

The palace sources, insisting on anonymity, said Abdullah also designated two other aides, whose appointments would be announced soon.

Adnan Abu-Odeh is to become the king’s political advisor _ a job he held for more than two decades under Hussein. Nabil Ammari, who was planning minister in the outgoing Cabinet, will become economic adviser.

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