Saudi Arabia stops Libyan rebel from visiting ally

AP News
Posted: May 07, 2011 10:06 AM
Saudi Arabia stops Libyan rebel from visiting ally

The acting foreign minister of Libya's rebel government has canceled a visit to key ally Qatar after failing to get approval from Saudi Arabia to fly over its airspace.

Cairo airport officials say Ali al-Issaoui and three other officials from the rebels' National Transitional Council waited for 20 hours at the airport before flying back to eastern Libya Saturday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

They said they did not know the reasons for the Saudi refusal. Saudi officials were not available for comment.

The Gulf nation of Qatar has given the rebels diplomatic recognition and sent warplanes to join the NATO operation in the country. Qatar has also helped rebels controlling oil facilities to sell the crude.