CAIRO, Egypt -- Saudi Arabia denied Monday charges from President Ali Abdullah Saleh of neighboring Yemen that Riyadh was trying to bring political chaos to Yemen by expelling tens of thousands of Yemeni workers.
Saleh, in an interview with the New York Times published last week, accused Saudi Arabia of trying to cause chaos by expelling tens of thousands of Yemenis from lucrative jobs in the oil-rich kingdom because of Yemen's pro-Iraqi stance in the Gulf standoff.
Relations between wealthy Gulf Arab states and poorer Arab nations such as Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, Algeria and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have cooled since Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.
'The Yemeni president is misleading himself and his people when he accuses Saudi Arabia of taking measures to destabilize Yemen,' a Saudi government official told state-run Riyadh Radio, monitored in Cairo.
Saudi Arabia was reported to have expelled about half a million Yemenis since the Gulf crisis erupted nearly three months ago.
The Saudi official also rejected Yemeni criticism for the deployment of foreign troops in Saudi Arabia after the Aug. 2 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
'The Yemeni president also misled hisself and his people when he attacks Saudi Arabia for its invitation to sisterly and friendly troops to support it, because he knows the cause of this invitation and he also knows secrets of the conspiracy masterminded by the ruler of Baghdad against Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,' the unnamed Saudi official said.
The Saudi official challenged the Yemeni president to furnish evidence supporting his accusations that Saudi Arabia had tried to bribe the former Marxist government of Aden to halt its unity plan in June with Sanaa.
'These accusations are cheap because Saudi Arabia was the first to congratulate this unity out of its keeness for neighborly relations,' the Saudi government official said.