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To Obamas with love: Diamonds, rubies and olive oil!

Last updated on: January 21, 2011 08:01 IST

To Obamas with love: Diamonds, rubies and olive oil!

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In his first year as United States President, Barack Obama, his family and and staff were showered with jewellery, ornaments and rare books worth more than $300,000 (Rs 1.3 crore) from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah.

The king is by far the most generous foreign leader, gifting Obama, his wife and daughters nearly $190,000 (Rs 86.5 lakh) in luxury gems, a news report in Dubai has said.

A ruby and diamond jewellery set, given by the king to Michelle Obama, was worth $132,000 (Rs 60 lakh).

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Image: US President Barack Obama holds a gift he received from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah during a meeting at the King's farm outside Riyadh
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters
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Saudi King gifts diamonds worth Rs 90 lakh to the First Family

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Among the gifts Obama received from King Abdullah was a marble ornament adorned with miniature gold palm trees and camels, and a Jaeger-LeCoultre brass clock, an Arabian Business report said quoting documents released by the US Federal Register.

Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia, each received diamond earrings and necklaces worth more than $7,000 (Rs 3.18 lakh) .

Top White House aides were also on the receiving end of King Abdullah's generosity, collecting watches, bracelets, cufflinks and pens valued at between $5,000 (Rs 2.27 lakh and $9,000 (Rs 4.09 lakh).

Image: First lady Michelle Obama with daughters Sasha and Malia
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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Berlo showers Obamas with watches, crystals

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Next in line was Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose presents of watches, silk ties, a crystal table and candlesticks were worth just under $33,000 (Rs 15 lakh) or less than 10 per cent of the Saudi haul.

Image: Obama greets Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Photographs: Chris Wattie/Reuters
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Hu presents Rs 9-lakh family portrait to Obama

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Chinese President Hu Jintao gave Obama a "framed and matted fine silk embroidery depicting a portrait study of the First Family," valued at $20,000 (Rs 9.1 lakh), the register said.

Image: Obama with Chinese President Hu Jintao

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Britain Queen's gift worth a mere Rs 35K!

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The Queen of England favoured more modest presents for the First Family, opting for framed portraits of herself and her husband, worth a mere $775 (Rs 35,000).

Ghana's first lady, Ernestina Naadu Mills, gifted Michelle Obama a Backes and Strauss watch, crafted in "18 carat gold with diamonds and leather."

 


Image: Obama and his wife Michelle pose for a photograph with Britain's Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace
Photographs: John Stillwell/Reuters
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Palestine's olive oil bottle the cheapest gift in federal register!

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas offered the US leader $521 (Rs 23,200) in gifts, including the least expensive item listed by the federal register: a $75 (Rs 3,400) bottle of olive oil.

All the presents are handed over to the National Archives as US law bars any government official from receiving a present from a foreign government.

Obama and others accepted the gifts because "non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to the donor and US government," the register said.

 


Image: Obama with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
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