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Rediff.com  » News » Cheney, Bush sr meet new Saudi King

Cheney, Bush sr meet new Saudi King

August 06, 2005 15:51 IST

A United States delegation led by Vice President Dick Cheney visited Saudi Arabia to meet newly installed King Abdullah and pay condolences on the death of his half brother, King Fahd.

Cheney, former President George H W Bush and former secretary of state Colin Powell flew out hours after meeting Abdullah on Friday in a brief but high-level visit intended to show the importance that Washington attaches to close relations with the Saudi kingdom, a heavyweight in the Arab world and a major oil supplier.

Reporters were barred from the meeting at the King's farm in al-Janadriya, outside Riyadh, but the official Saudi Press Agency said the two sides discussed Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and bilateral relations.

On behalf of US President George W Bush, Cheney invited Abdullah to visit the White House at an unspecified date, SPA reported.

Spain's King Juan Carlos also met Abdullah, with a footage broadcast on Spanish television showing him being embraced warmly. Juan Carlos was a longtime friend of Fahd, who died on Monday at the age of 84.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos accompanied Juan Carlos and returned to Spain late Friday, the Spanish news agency Efe reported. Juan Carlos, however, planned to stay overnight in Riyadh after being invited to dinner by crown prince sultan, said a spokesman for Zarzuela Palace in Madrid.

King Fahd dies, brother new king

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