Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Egypt's President Anwar Sadat left Cairo together on Monday (20 February) to fly to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with King Faisal.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya and Egypt's President Anwar Sadat left Cairo together on Monday (20 February) to fly to Saudi Arabia for a meeting with King Faisal. The Libyan leader's visit -- first to Cairo, and then to Riyadh -- marks a striking improvement in Libya's relations with the other Arab States.
Colonel Gaddafi had arrived unannounced in Cairo on Monday, and immediately started a session of talks with President Sadat. It was their first meeting since before the October war in the Middle East.
Relations between the two countries had been strained since the war -- mainly because the Egyptian leader had reportedly failed to consult Colonel Gaddafi about the war and the subsequent ceasefire.
During his visit to Egypt, Colonel Gaddafi admitted in a broadcast speech that his criticism of Egyptian conduct of the war against Israel had been "harsh", and he explained that they sprang from "his faith in Egypt". He said the motive for his criticism was his eagerness that Egypt should not fall, because if Egypt fell, the "entire Arab nation" would collapse.
When the Egyptian President and the Libyan leader arrived on Wednesday in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, they had two lengthy meetings with King Faisal in an effort to reconcile the King and Colonel Gaddafi -- his most outspoken critic.
Colonel Gaddafi and President Sadat then flew to Jeddah on a pilgrimage, before leaving for Lahore in Pakistan, where they are expected to attend the formal opening of the Islamic Summit Conference on Friday.