29 August, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 2, 1435

Clinton tops Obama in gifts from foreign leaders

Published Aug 31, 2013 02:33pm
In this June 27, 2012 file-pool photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton receives a gift from Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja at the Government Banquet Hall in Helsinki, Finland. -Photo by AP
In this June 27, 2012 file-pool photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton receives a gift from Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja at the Government Banquet Hall in Helsinki, Finland. -Photo by AP
In this June 3, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama receives a gift of a gold necklace called the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the country's highest honor, from Saudi King Abdullah at the start of their bilateral meeting at the King's Farm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. -Photo by AP
In this June 3, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama receives a gift of a gold necklace called the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the country's highest honor, from Saudi King Abdullah at the start of their bilateral meeting at the King's Farm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. -Photo by AP

WASHINGTON: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton outpaced President Barack Obama last year in receiving lavish gifts from foreign leaders.

Clinton received gold jewelry worth half a million dollars from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The State Department said the gift included a necklace bracelet, ring and earrings. The white gold was adorned with teardrop rubies and diamonds. Clinton also got gold, sapphire and diamond jewelry worth $58,000 from Brunei's queen.

Obama's most expensive gift was a $16,500 gold-plated clock from Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the Saudi defense minister. Obama, a big sports fan, scored a red, white and blue basketball from, and autographed by, Chinese President President Xi Jinping. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, gave Obama a customized Dunlop table tennis table with United States and United Kingdom decals and paddles worth $1,100.

The gifts were among a bounty of vases, watches, artwork and other items given to the Obama family and top US officials in 2012, according to the department's Office of Protocol, which catalogs the gifts and publishes an annual listing. But don't look for Clinton or Obama to pocket the gifts. Under law, most of them must go to the National Archives or General Services Administration, unless recipients reimburse the US Treasury for them.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny gave Obama a package of gifts worth $7,246.19 that included a certificate of Obama's Irish heritage, two silver shamrock charm bracelets and a lamb's wool scarf and blanket.

Myanmar President Thein Sein offered gifts of jewelry for the first lady, Michelle Obama, and the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha. The first lady was given a $4,200 pearl necklace with a gold and diamond clasp. The Obama daughters received two flower brooches of pearl, diamond and gold valued at $4,440.

Britain's Samantha Cameron gave the first lady a cashmere scarf by J. Saunders worth $480.

There were gifts that could be consumed and those from display.

Clinton got $560 worth of cognac from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama received a saber with a 34-inch blade and a silver filigree handle from Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

Vice President Joe Biden got a silver knife and chopsticks with silver ends from Mongolia's prime minister and a female bare-breasted bust from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The gift list published in the Federal Register also included a present Obama received back in 2009. It was package of artwork worth $124,000 given to the president by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's flamboyant former premier. Included was a large book of art, photographs and text by Marilena Ferrari along with a gold-painted box with bookmark and magnifying glass. The State Department said its gift listings sometimes run late due to processing.


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Comments (4) (Closed)


Arvind
Aug 31, 2013 04:39pm

Bade Logo ki Badi Baatien

khan
Aug 31, 2013 04:39pm

wow these world leaders should give gifts to each other more ...increases love ????????????????????????????

Khalid
Aug 31, 2013 08:32pm

I wonder if there is a process in place for listing down presents given to government officials and if they are received, what is done with them?. Oh, I forgot, why would they need gifts, there hands are always in the till anyway :)

Numan Ali
Aug 31, 2013 09:20pm

King Abdullah is kind just because they are afraid of Arab Spring, thats why they are giving such expensive gifts to US Top Officials. They just want to keep intact their monarch