Arab Leaders Shower Condi With Jewelry; Bush, Meh

State chief got $316K in gifts last year, to about $100K for Bush
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 23, 2008 12:55 PM CST
King Abdullah II of Jordan, right, meets with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, in Aqaba, Nov. 7. 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Condoleezza Rice scored $316,000 worth of lavish jewelry from Arab royals last year, the AP reports. Jordan’s King Abdullah treated Rice to an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet, earrings, and other finery; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia a ruby and diamond necklace and earrings, bracelet and ring. President Bush received a mere $100,000 worth of gifts from the same leaders.

Bush did get a $150 platypus paperweight from an Australian official, and $450 in exercise equipment from Singapore, a State Department report shows. Laura Bush received an $85,000 sapphire-and-diamond jewelry set from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. But none of them can hang onto the treasures: Federal law requires they be kept by government agencies.