Condoleezza Rice really isn’t someone we envy. I mean, she has to work with one of the most annoying men in the country. But we’d be willing to put up with a lot if it meant receiving lavish gifts from foreign heads of state and government and their aides. The kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia gave Rice gem-encrusted baubles totaling at least $316,000 in 2007. King Abdullah II of Jordan gave Rice an emerald and diamond necklace, ring, bracelet and earrings estimated to be worth $147,000, according to the State Department’s annual inventory of such items released on Monday. The king and his wife Queen Rania also gave Rice a necklace, earrings and jewelry box valued at $4,630. But King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia would not be outdone and presented Rice with an diamond and ruby necklace with matching earrings, ring and bracelet worth $165,000. Unfortunately, Rice and other officials won’t be able to keep the gifts, which have been turned over to the General Services Administration and government archives in accordance with federal law. Since Rice doesn’t dress too flashy (though she does love her pearls!), we think she really won’t miss the jewelry. After the jump find out what other gifts were presented to U.S. officials. [AP]
In 2005, the Saudi monarch gave Rice a $170,000 flower petal motif necklace, which was not previously disclosed to General Services Administration.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia gave first lady Laura Bush an $85,000 sapphire and diamond jewelry set and a $10,000 piece of artwork depicting a desert scene.
Laura Bush also received a $6 can of assorted nuts from the Dalai Lama.
The Swedish prime minister gave George Bush a $570 Brush Cutter with “comfort grip handles” for use at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Bush also got a $150 bronze platypus-shaped paper weight from an Australian official.
The prime minister of Singapore presented Bush with $450 worth of fitness equipment, including a “uSurf Wave Action Exerciser” and an “iGallop Core and Abs Exerciser.”
The wife of Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe gave Laura Bush two red, white and blue hand-embroidered pillows with American flag designs and the names and images of the first dogs worth $100.
Shinzo Abe’s wife also gave the first lady a $700 porcelain Limoges box with the two pets painted on it and a stuffed black fleece Scotty toy valued at $100.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace received two machine guns worth $1,300 from his Russian and Colombian counterparts.
A Bahraini official gave Defense Secretary Robert Gates a $3,200 decorative Arab knife. And the Jordanian king gave Gates a steel dagger valued at $345.
CIA chief Michael Hayden took in $8,000 in gifts, including a sword, fountain pen and silk rug.