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Saudi prince visits Texas
The Dallas Morning News ^ | April 26, 2002 | By DAVID JACKSON / The Dallas Morning News

Posted on 04/26/2002 6:03:08 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP

Saudi prince visits Texas

Prince Abdullah, president tackle vision for Mideast peace


By DAVID JACKSON / The Dallas Morning News

CRAWFORD, Texas - After five hours of meetings at his Texas ranch, President Bush said Thursday that Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia assured him the oil kingdom would not apply economic pressure to influence his Mideast policy.

"Saudi Arabia made it clear and has made it clear publicly they will not use oil as a weapon," Mr. Bush told reporters. "I appreciate that, respect that and expect that to be the case."

Aides to Prince Abdullah, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, agreed that the oil issue is "not on the table." But they continued to criticize what they called American favoritism toward Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his military actions against the Palestinians.

"There is a lot of anger at the U.S. for what is perceived as a lack of restraining Sharon," said Adel Al-Jubeir, a foreign policy adviser. "The crown prince wanted to make sure the president was aware of this."

He added that it is "very clear that allowing this problem to spiral out of control will have grave consequences for the U.S. and its interests."

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Speaking with reporters after the meeting, Mr. Bush said he told the prince that all parties Arab, Palestinian, and Israeli have responsibilities in forging a safer Middle East, one that would include a new Palestinian state. Mr. Bush called Saudi Arabia a key player in developing that vision.

"Our partnership is important to both our nations, and it is important to the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East and the world," Mr. Bush said.

The crown prince did not appear with Mr. Bush at the brief news conference, as has been the case with other meetings between the president and foreign leaders. The two did not announce any new initiatives or issue any joint statements.

At his ranch, President Bush said a strong bond was forged with Crown Prince Abdullah.

Mr. Bush, who gave the prince a guided tour of his spread said the meeting helped build a "strong personal bond," and added, "I'm convinced that the stronger our personal bond is, the more likely it is relations between our countries will be strong."

The president also praised Saudi Arabia for its cooperation since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America and for the Middle East land-for-peace plan advanced by the crown prince.

Mr. Bush brought the prince to Prairie Chapel Ranch as part of a delicate balancing act between the American-led war on terrorism and the U.S. response to strife in the Middle East.

While Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have criticized Mr. Bush over Israel, the president wants Arab support for the war against terrorism, and particularly for U.S. efforts to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Here at home, some Americans including conservative Republicans have criticized Mr. Bush for pressuring Mr. Sharon to pull Israeli troops out of Palestinian areas on the West Bank.

Israel, the longtime American ally, says it is emulating the U.S. war on terrorism, shutting down Palestinian terrorist cells that have launched repeated suicide attacks on Israeli citizens.

The Palestinians, with strong support in Arab countries, condemn Israel's "invasion and occupation," including the detention of Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat.

Other critics, including some Democrats who would like to succeed Mr. Bush, have said he entered the Middle East peace process too late and has vacillated since. They note that after days of demanding that Mr. Sharon pull out of the West Bank, Mr. Bush called the Israeli prime minister "a man of peace" a comment that infuriated leaders of Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Bush said he told the crown prince that he will continue to press for an Israeli withdrawal as well as for nonviolent ends to the standoffs at the Church of the Nazareth in Bethlehem and at Mr. Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah. But he added that other nations also have responsibilities.

"We discussed the need for Arab states to condemn terror, to stop incitement of violence, and as part of a long-term peace, to accept Israel as a nation and a neighbor," Mr. Bush said. "We also agreed the world must join in offering humanitarian aid to the many innocent Palestinians who are suffering."

From left: President Bush brought National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Vice President Dick Cheney, on crutches with a heel injury, and Chief of Staff Andrew Card to his ranch for his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.

The Bush administration also has been criticized for not being hard enough on Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of most of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The country's state-run media has applauded attacks on Israel and recently broadcast a telethon with proceeds going to "martyrs" in the Israeli conflict.

American officials said they raised the issue of the telethon with the Saudi delegation and were told that nongovernmental organizations distributed the proceeds for humanitarian purposes.

Both sides disputed a New York Times report that the crown prince planned to warn Mr. Bush that the two countries' strategic relationship would be threatened unless the president moderated his position toward the Israeli military action.

But Saudi officials, speaking to reporters as the Bush-Abdullah meeting transpired, made it clear that they think progress toward peace rests with Israel and Mr. Sharon.

"It takes two to tango," Mr. Al-Jubeir said. "We need a commitment from Sharon that he is serious about this, and we haven't seen it."

Both sides said that the Iraq issue surfaced but that Saudi officials expressed reservations about American talk of deposing Mr. Hussein.

"Iraq is an arms-control issue, not a terrorism issue," said Nail Al-Jubeir, a Saudi embassy spokesman.

"Let's finish one before we go to the other. We shouldn't mix apples and oranges."

Administration officials said they are still considering all of their options regarding Iraq.

"This is a good time for consultations with regional leaders like the crown prince about how they see dealing with the threat posed by Iraq," said a senior administration official before the Bush-Abdullah meeting. "But it's way premature to talk about staging" military action.

American and Saudi officials will continue to meet over the next several days, Mr. Bush said.

The crown prince brought two top advisers with him to the ranch: Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, and Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister.

Mr. Bush's staff included Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

This was the third time Mr. Bush entertained a head of state at his ranch near Waco. Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have also visited.

Mr. Bush called the ranch "a place that is very special for me, and a place where I welcome special guests to our country."

He later added: "I really took great delight in being able to drive him around in a pickup truck and showing him the trees and my favorite spots. And we saw a wild turkey, which was good."


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TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Israel; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: arabs; crawfordtx; israel; palestinians; prairiechapelranch; presidentbush; saudiprince
I didn't know that Cheney had injured his heel. Where was I?......

Video is appx 2.5 minutes........

WFAA-TV Video: Doug Fox Report

1 posted on 04/26/2002 6:03:09 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Howlin; SpookBrat; Miss Marple; PhiKapMom; ValerieUSA; maxwell; All
"There is a lot of anger at the U.S. for what is perceived as a lack of restraining Sharon," said Adel Al-Jubeir, a foreign policy adviser. "The crown prince wanted to make sure the president was aware of this."

He added that it is "very clear that allowing this problem to spiral out of control will have grave consequences for the U.S. and its interests."

Hmm? Maybe this would be the perfect time for President Bush to invite the Saudi Prince to take a dip in the creek?
Let him mingle with the water moccasins for a little while, huh??........
2 posted on 04/26/2002 6:14:51 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
Last night Fmr. Senator Al D'Amato ripped the article in the New York Times in no uncertain terms. He laid out exactly why the article was full of misrepresentations.

It would seem to me that the NYT ought to be on the list of terror organizations for the damage it does to our economy with these false reports. Suggesting that oil would be used by the Saudi's as a political weapon is nothing more than an attempt to rile the stock markets, then helping the demonrats. (in their sick mind)

3 posted on 04/26/2002 6:15:31 AM PDT by OldFriend
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To: SassyMom
4 posted on 04/26/2002 6:15:34 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
The Saudi Prince has started to believe he is actually important in this big world. He's important in his palace - but not in America. He just looks silly here.
5 posted on 04/26/2002 6:21:46 AM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: ValerieUSA
He's important as long as he sells us oil..and keeps his people in line...
hmmmm perhaps he sees his carreer disipation light flashing...
6 posted on 04/26/2002 6:42:54 AM PDT by joesnuffy
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: MeeknMing
This is what happens when ignorant goat hearders get their hands on a lot of money.

USA should "nationalize" the oil fields, and put these goat hearders back on their land, unscathed, but take over the oil production. We dug those holes, and I am sure no one would object to giving the Saudi's their 1/8th cut.

They are too stupid to control that much power.

8 posted on 04/26/2002 7:19:37 AM PDT by RISU
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To: kcrack
Yes, the President had to turn him to face the camera and then the royal highness finally attempted to wave, but he sure didn't understand why he was expected to greet the lowly people. I'm sure he thought they should have been kissing his sandals. Friendliness in his nation might be too risky. Terrorists are bred there and many of them hate him even though he pretty much leaves them alone.
9 posted on 04/26/2002 8:48:35 AM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: MeeknMing
VP Cheney injured his Achilles Tendon last week. I think I read that he tripped over a piece of furniture in his office, but I am not sure. That hurts. Why does President Bush even deal with in-bred saudis? They speak with forked tongue, just like the rest of those people. It is a point of "honor" with them to get one over on somebody.
10 posted on 04/26/2002 9:30:31 AM PDT by Rollee
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