INTERNATIONAL

Saudis slam U.K. terror warning

LONDON OCT. 26. A diplomatic row broke out between Britain and Saudi Arabia after the Saudi Ambassador to the U.K. attacked the British Foreign Office for issuing a warning against travel to the desert kingdom because of the allegedly increased level of threat from terrorists.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal said the warning was issued without consulting Saudi authorities.

He said this appeared to give the impression that the British Government knew more about the situation in Saudi Arabia "than we do''.

Rejecting the Foreign Office's claim that there was a "particularly serious'' threat, he said there should be `coordination' with the Saudi Government before such warnings were issued.

In a statement, the outspoken envoy pointed out that his Government had adopted tough measures after the May 12 suicide bombings in Riyadh in which 35 people, including two Britons, were killed.

Earlier, the Foreign Office said that according to a fresh assessment the threats were "particularly serious at this time'' with terrorists believed to be "in the final phases of planning attacks''.

Responding to the Saudi envoy's criticism, a spokesman said it was not standard procedure for countries to be told beforehand.

Our first responsibility is to the safety of British nationals,'' he said.

Other countries, including the U.S. and Australia, were also reported to be reviewing their risk assessments for Saudi Arabia.

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