Gaddafi trades insults with Saudi prince

Libya today recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia for consultations following a heated and public exchange of insults between Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at an Arab summit.

The official JANA news agency said the Libyan parliament, expressed “strong discontent for the verbal attack launched against the positions of the great revolution and its symbol, leader Moammar Gaddafi.”

Gaddafi, talking at a summit being broadcast live on Saturday by most Arab satellite television stations, said that during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, he had spoken with Saudi King Fahd about Libya’s concern over the presence of US troops in the kingdom.

“King Fahd told me that his country was threatened and that he would cooperate with the Devil to protect it,” Gaddafi said.

Muslims consider co-operating with Satan a sin, and to attribute such a remark to King Fahd – who holds the revered position of custodian of Islam’s two holiest shrines – would be particularly offensive.

Before the live feed was cut off, Crown Prince Abdullah angrily responded: “Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country and not an agent of colonialism like you and others.”

Wagging his finger at Gaddafi, Abdullah said: “You, who brought you to power? Don’t talk about matters that you fail to prove. Your lies precede you, while the grave is ahead of you.”

A bewildered Gaddafi replied: “By God, I don’t know how I am going to answer this man.”

After the exchange was broadcast, thousands of anti-Saudi demonstrators took to the streets in Tripoli, the Libyan capital. Some tried to break into the Saudi Embassy but were dispersed by riot police using tear gas and batons.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said Gaddafi had not apologised to Prince Abdullah because “he who does not have the characteristics of men and does not have noble principles cannot do such things.”

Furthermore, Prince Saud said, a noble man “would not commit acts that call for apologies.”

“Every official must master communicating with others,” he added.

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