Bush Sells Arms on Saudi Visit

Prez and Abdullah discuss weather, plan to talk oil and Mideast peace

By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 14, 2008 6:18 PM CST

(Newser) – President Bush announced a $123 million arms deal with the Saudis as he visited the oil kingdom for the first time today. Part of $20 billion in military sales to shore up Gulf states against Iran, the Saudi deal will offer advanced "smart bomb" technology that some US lawmakers worry could be used to strike Israel. But Saudi Arabia's war on terror efforts and anti-Iran stance appear to override such fears, the AP reports.

Bush was welcomed by King Abdullah with great ceremony on an unusually brisk day and spent much time discussing the weather. Also on the agenda are oil—rising costs are hurting the US economy—and peace talks between Israel and Palestine. The trip is also payback for Abdullah being hosted by Bush recently at his Texas ranch.

President Bush is greeted by Saudi King Abdullah at the King's Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. In the center is US interpreter Gamal Helal.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Bush is greeted by Saudi King Abdullah at the King's Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. In the center is US interpreter Gamal Helal. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)   (Associated Press)
Saudi King Abdullah, right, examines the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit on President Bush, left, with after bestowing it upon him following their dinner at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Saudi King Abdullah, right, examines the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit on President Bush, left, with after bestowing it upon him following their dinner at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh,...   (Associated Press)
In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency,  U.S. President George W. Bush, left, is greeted by Saudi King Abdullah upon his arrival at Riyadh  airport, Saudi Arabia Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Saudi Press Agency, HO)
In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, U.S. President George W. Bush, left, is greeted by Saudi King Abdullah upon his arrival at Riyadh airport, Saudi Arabia Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Saudi...   (Associated Press)
Saudi King Abdullah, right, presents President Bush, left, with the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit following their dinner at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Saudi King Abdullah, right, presents President Bush, left, with the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit following their dinner at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo...   (Associated Press)
President Bush wears the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, that was presented to him by Saudi King Abdullah, at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Bush wears the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, that was presented to him by Saudi King Abdullah, at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)   (Associated Press)
President Bush, center left, and Saudi King Abdullah, center right, have tea following their dinner at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Bush, center left, and Saudi King Abdullah, center right, have tea following their dinner at Riyadh Palace, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)   (Associated Press)
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