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Saudis expel Libyan envoy

From CNN's Caroline Faraj in Dubai

Foreign Minister Prince Saud announced the measures Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia

(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia says it is withdrawing its ambassador to Libya and ordering out its envoy in response to reports that Tripoli plotted to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

Libya called the allegations "falsified."

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud announced the measures on Wednesday, saying Libya would be sent a communique demanding that their envoy in Riyadh go home.

He said the Saudi Embassy in Tripoli and the Libyan Embassy in Riyadh would remain open.

He reiterated that the kingdom did not want the Libyan people to suffer, particularly with the annual Muslim pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia starting next month.

The Saudi move on Libya comes months after the assassination plot was first reported.

The Saudi government has "limited its action to only these measures, despite the ugliness of what happened, in appreciation for the brotherly Libyan people," Saud said.

In Libya, officials denied all claims and expressed its surprise at the Saudi action. The Libyan Foreign Ministry dismissed the plot charge as "falsified." The ministry said in a statement it would ask the Arab League to investigate.

The alleged plot was first outlined by U.S. investigators in their case against Abdurahman Alamoudi, a prominent American Muslim activist sentenced earlier this year to 23 years in prison for illegal business dealings with Libya.

According to a 20-page "statement of facts" filed by U.S. prosecutors, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi wanted Abdullah killed after a March 2003 Arab League Summit during which the two exchanged sharp insults, The Associated Press reported.

In his announcement Wednesday, Prince Saud also touched on another case, saying Saudi Arabia will comply with any measures the United Nations imposes against Saudi citizen Adel Batterjee.

The U.S. Treasury Department moved Tuesday to block the assets of Batterjee and another Saudi, London-based opposition Saad al-Fagih, saying they offered support to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

The Treasury Department submitted the two names to the United Nations for possible inclusion in its list of terrorist financiers. If the names were included, member countries would have to block financial assets belonging to the two men.

"Any action that the United Nations takes in that, including freezing assets, will be undertaken by Saudi Arabia," Saud said.

He could not say whether Batterjee was in the kingdom.

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