By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 14 November:
The president of the General National Congress, Mohamed Magarief, is to fly to Riyadh tomorrow, Thursday, to . . .[restrict]meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman.
Accompanying him on the the two-day visit will be five members of Congress and the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Abdulaziz.
The Saudi ambassador to Libya, Mohammed Al-Ali, is already back in the Saudi capital prepaping for the visit.
It is something of a breakthrough. This is the first time that there have been top level official talks between Libya and Saudi Arabia since the revolution, and the first time in decades that they have been friendly.
Relations between the former regime and Saudi Arabia were fractious for years. In 2003, Qaddafi plotted to assassinate King Abdullah, then crown prince. Three years ago, he notoriously insulted the king at an Arab League summit in Qatar, claiming that the Saudi ruler had been put in place by the British, was sustained by the Americans, that he was facing death and was of no consequence. On the other hand, he boasted, he himself was “the leader of Arab leaders, King of Kings of Africa and imam of the Muslims”.
Despite the differences however, Saudi Arabia was one of the last Arab states to welcome the revolution and recognise the former National Transitional Council.