ARAB monarchs led world leaders in lavishing gifts on American leaders last year, especially Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to an annual inventory by the US State Department. The gifts go to the National Archives or charitable organisations. Highlights of the gift list:
King Abdullah II gave an emerald and diamond necklace and other jewellery, worth US$151,630 (S$220,000) to Dr Rice.
# Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah gave a ruby and diamond necklace with earrings, bracelet and ring worth US$165,000 to Dr Rice. He also gave an US$85,000 sapphire and diamond jewellery set and a US$10,000 artwork and a tent made of gold to First Lady Laura Bush.
# Abu Dhabi
Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan gave Vice-President Dick Cheney a US$7,500 clock.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave Mr Bush US$450 worth of fitness equipment, including a 'uSurf Wave Action Exerciser' and an 'iGallop Core and Abs Exerciser'.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi gave President George W. Bush a US$3,000 gold replica of the Temple of Heaven.
Mrs Aki Abe, the wife of Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe, gave Mrs Bush two hand-embroidered pillows, a porcelain Limoges box and a Scotty toy valued a total of US$900.
President Nguyen Minh Triet gave Mr Bush a US$4,500 electric harp with a speakerphone.
President Nicolas Sarkozy gave Mr Bush a US$5,000 bronze statue of a horse.
General Peter Pace, the former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, received a 9mm machine gun (above), with a removable magazine, from Russia's chief of staff.
ASSOCIATED PRESS, WASHINGTON POST