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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 June, 2004, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Saudi press fumes over Libyan 'plot'
Arabic press graphic

The press in Saudi Arabia has reacted with a combination of shock and indignation to allegations that Libyan leader Col Gaddafi approved a plan to kill Crown Prince Abdullah.

The Libyans have denied the allegations, which are being investigated by the American authorities, and which US officials say put any possible rapprochement with Tripoli under a cloud.

Relations between Libya and Saudi Arabia have been difficult in recent years, especially after an angry exchange between Col Gaddafi and Crown Prince Abdullah at an Arab League summit in March 2003.

An editorial in the influential Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat says the alleged plot has "stained Libya's image worldwide".

How will people be convinced about the sanity of this double-dealer
"It is difficult to believe matters could reach the stage of wanting to kill, irrespective of the differences," it continues.

"It is indeed painful that a country like Libya which has enormous resources has failed to develop internally and make progress it could be proud of rather than chanting slogans and weaving conspiracies."

The Saudi daily Al-Watan berates the Libyan leader for biting the hand of an ally.

Crown Prince Abdullah had stood by Colonel Gaddafi "in all sincerity during Libya's days of tribulation", it says.

Yet the Libyan leader "responded to the good will of the Saudi leadership by planning with his intelligence service to assassinate one of Saudi's symbols".

Strength in adversity

Al-Jazirah questions the state of mind of the Libyan leader, accusing him of hypocrisy.

"How will people be convinced about the sanity of this double-dealer when he announces publicly and in the media that he has abandoned terrorism - then, at the same time, conspires to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah?" it asks.

The daily Ukaz believes that such threats only serve to unify the country.

"What the Libyan leader fails to understand about this nation, its people and its leaders is that when dangers emerge and conspiracies are hatched against it, they are transformed into a source of strength and invincibility," the Saudi newspaper says.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

US to probe Libya 'murder plot'
11 Jun 04  |  Africa
Country profile: Saudi Arabia
29 May 04  |  Country profiles
Profile: Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah
26 Mar 02  |  Middle East
Country profile: Libya
25 Feb 04  |  Country profiles
Colonel Gaddafi's Libya
19 Dec 03  |  Middle East

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