Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's threat to halt Libyan oil exports to the West for up to four years appears, from an examination of the original Arabic language text, to be less definite than first reports indicated.
Qaddafi arrived in Kuwait from Iraq today on an Arab tour that concided with an uproar over his report threat, but he made no public mention of it here.
The threat reportedly was made in an interview with Al Mustaqbal, a Paris-based Arabic-language weekly.
In English-language highlights of the interview distributed by the magazine Friday, Qaddafi was reported as saying that, in order to avoid problems and pressures created by the West, Libya "will stop producing oil -- except for what we need for our domestic consumption -- for two years, perhaps three or four."
According to the Arabic version, which became available today, however, the Libyan leader said: "when things develop into pressures and threats of invasion, we in Libya can also ultimately reduce, or even stop production except for our own domestic consumption. We are seriously thinking of this.
"We won't produce more than what we need for local consumption. I would decide to stop Libyan oil production for two, three or four years, because that is better for us than contronting America and the industrialized nations."
There was little reaction from other producers to Qaddafi's remarks. The story was reported in Saudi Arabia without comment. A spokesman for Iran's National Iranian Oil Co. said Iranian production would not be affected by decisions taken elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's King Khalid was quoted today as saying that American military intervention in the Persian Gulf to protect U.S. oil supplies "would not achieve its purposes, but on the contrary would lead to further turmoil and unrest." The Saudi monarch was quoted in an interview published on the Kuwait newspaper Al Siyasseh.
Khalid apparently was responding to remarks last Sunday by Defense Secretary Harold Brown, who said instability in the Persian Gulf region and U.S. dependence on its oil could draw U.S. forces "into conflicts" there. CAPTION: Picture, MUAMMAR QADDAFI . . . interview caused uproar