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Source: Jordan King Names Son Heir

January 25, 1999

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ King Hussein has named his eldest son, Prince Abdullah, as Jordan’s crown prince, Jordanian sources said.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hussein chose Abdullah as his heir on Sunday night. The king was expected to announce his choice in a nationally televised address later today, they said.

Hussein, 63, informed his brother, Hassan, 51, through envoys last week that he was being removed as crown prince.

Hussein reportedly was not happy with Hassan’s performance during the king’s six-month absence for cancer treatment in the United States. It is also believed that Hussein wanted the make sure that the throne went to his sons and not those of Hassan.

Hussein returned to Jordan last week after months of treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

There has been widespread public concern over the implications of the king’s poor health on the future of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Hussein inherited the throne from his father, Talal, in 1952 at age 17.

Many Jordanians worried about Hassan’s ability to steer the tiny kingdom through the minefield of Arab politics. Hassan, an academic, lacks Hussein’s military background and charisma.

The constitution stipulates that Hussein’s successor should be his eldest son.

The king said recently that when he appointed Hassan as crown prince 34 years ago, he had no other choice because his sons were very young.

Abdullah, who turns 37 on Jan. 30, is Hussein’s son from his second marriage, to Toni Gardiner of Britain. She adopted the name of Muna al-Hussein when she converted to Islam upon her marriage in 1960.

Abdullah is an army major general and in charge of a special force that oversees the security of the royal family. He attended military schools in England and the United States.

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