Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and US President George W. Bush co-chaired the first round of official talks at the royal palace in Riyadh last night.
President Bush arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday for a three-day official visit to the Kingdom, his first as president.
During their meeting, the two leaders discussed regional issues, in particular the Middle East peace process and international efforts to restart talks in light of the November 2007 peace conference in Annapolis. They also reviewed the situation in Iraq, ways to boost bilateral cooperation, and international counterterrorism efforts. King Abdullah also reiterated his call for the establishment of an international counterterrorism center under the aegis of the United Nations.
King Abdullah and President Bush are expected hold a second round of talks today that are expected to address other issues, including the situation in Lebanon.
On the second day of his visit to Saudi Arabia, President Bush visited King Abdullah at the royal ranch in Jenadriyah, near Riyadh. The King and President Bush enjoyed a horse show of thoroughbred Arabians at the royal stables and a show of hunting falcons. In the evening, King Abdullah hosted a dinner in honor of the president at the ranch.
The president also took in some of the sights of Riyadh today. He toured the National Museum and the King Abdulaziz Historical Center, where he was welcomed by Riyadh Governor Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. At the center, the president visited a photography exhibit on Saudi-US relations and signed a guest book that President Harry S. Truman presented to King Abdulaziz Al-Saud in 1950. He also participated in the Ardha, the traditional sword dance of Saudi Arabia.
President Bush departs Saudi Arabia tomorrow for Egypt, continuing a tour of the Middle East that has included visits to Israel, the West Bank, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.