[DEBATE] : Arab Monarchs Lavish Condoleezza Rice with Gifts
b.miles.teg at gmail.com
Tue Jan 13 09:31:04 GMT 2009
Rice tops USA 'official gift list' - Ms Rice received $312,000
(£211,000) worth of jewels from the king of Saudi Arabia - worth three
times more than his gifts to President George W Bush.
Rice tops USA 'official gift list'
USA Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has topped the list of USA
officials for the number of gifts received in 2007, a state department
Ms Rice received $312,000 (£211,000) worth of jewels from the king of
Saudi Arabia - worth three times more than his gifts to President George
Among the presents listed for First Lady Laura Bush were "nuts and dried
fruit" from the Dalai Lama - worth $6.
However, all gifts remain public property in keeping with USA law.
In January 2007, Saudi King Abdullah presented Ms Rice with a diamond
and emerald set - including a necklace, bracelet, earrings and a ring -
worth $147,000 (£100,000), according to the list.
In July 2007, he gave Ms Rice a set of diamond and ruby jewellery valued
The inventory also includes a $170,000 flower petal necklace he gave Ms
Rice in 2005, which the department says was not previously disclosed.
Earlier, the state department reported erroneously that the jewellery
valued at $147,000 had been given to Ms Rice by King Abdullah II of
Jordan, not the Saudi monarch.
Mr Bush's wife, Laura, also received a diamond and sapphire set from the
Saudi monarch, but hers was worth just half that given to Ms Rice at
From the same Arab leaders, President Bush received just over $100,000
in gifts in 2007, the list shows.
Among the more offbeat gifts, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt
honoured the USA leader with a $570 made-in-Sweden power saw equipped
"with comfort grip handles", presumably for use at his Texas ranch.
And the prime minister of Singapore gave Mr Bush $450 worth of fitness
equipment, including a uSurf Wave Action Exerciser and an iGallop Core
and Abs Exerciser.
The wife of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave Mrs Bush two
hand-embroidered pillows with the names and images of first dogs Barney
and Miss Beazley worth $100.
Unfortunately for the recipients, the gifts must be turned over to the
General Services Administration in accordance with US law, which bars
politicians and officials from accepting personal presents in almost all
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