The London-based al-Hayat daily Arabic newspaper said Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal suggested on Saturday that Saudi and Libyan ambassadors could be back at their missions in Tripoli and Riyadh in the near future. "There is nothing strange in relations returning to normal," he told the paper.

Saudi Arabia asked Libya's ambassador to leave in January over an alleged plot to assassinate then Crown Prince Abdullah in 2003, after he clashed with Libyan leader Muammar al-Gadhafi at an Arab summit.

Libya has denied involvement in any such plot.

Libyans pardoned

A week after he became king last month, Abdullah pardoned several Libyans held in relation to the alleged plot. Saudi security sources said they were about to be put on trial, a step which probably would have strained ties even further.

Saudi media reports said the kingdom was holding eight Saudis and five Libyans in the case.

"Relations between Saudi Arabia and Libya were not cut," Prince Saud told al-Hayat, adding that only the ambassadors were withdrawn. "Ties between the (Libyan and Saudi) people are normal".