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Why Obama can't keep gift from Saudi King

By: Unknown On: 23:23
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  • President Barack Obama (L) holds a gift he received from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah during a meeting at the King's …

    The baseball caps with Obama’s portrait came from Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Sheinand appeared to be part of an Obama-themed set. Shein also gave Obama a wooden chest carved with a flower and leaf design holding 20 green kente-style cloths with Obama’s image, 21 blue kente-style cloths with Obama’s image,19 black hats with pins, 18 navy blue polo shirts, 10 white polo shirts, a 56-by-80-inch blue plaid cloth and “one blue cloth with beaded decoration on round beaded tray with bow.” Total estimated value: $1,926.
    Obama walked away from the 2013 Group of Eight Summit in Northern Ireland with a far less personalized goodie bag from British Prime Minister David Cameron. It included a framed photo of the G-8 leaders, a “custom USB stick,” a paperback published by the Northern Ireland Tourism Board, a hardcover book entitled “Scenic Ireland: The Province of Ulster,” a CD called “Bestselling British Songs,” two porcelain cups with shamrocks, a wash bag from designer Anya Hindmarch, a monogrammed tan travel bag, “apothecary bath products,” gourmet chocolates from Co Couture, and a bottle of (unnamed) whiskey. Total value: $2,116.27
    The most expensive present to Obama came from Qatar’s ambassador to the United States. It was a 26-inch-tall “amber-colored sculpture depicting a falcon perched on a branch looking over its shoulder,” valued at $10,408, according to the State Department report.
    That’s not a lot of cash when compared to some of the presents first lady Michelle Obama received, including an 18-carat gold jewelry set with yellow sapphires and diamonds from Queen Pengiran Anak Saleha of Brunei. Estimated value? $71,468. The first lady did not keep the gift.

    At the other end of the price spectrum, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas gave President Obama a painting of the U.S. leader juxtaposed with Abraham Lincoln, a photo album of Obama’s visit to the West bank “bound in green leather with gold accents and emblem of Palestinian Authority,” a photograph of Palestinian-American veterans marching in a parade in Chicago, and an olive-wood carved manger scene. Estimated value: $414.00.
    Across the border, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Obama perhaps the smallest gift in the collection, described as “0.04 square millimeters engraved small chip with side-by-side texts of the United States and Israeli Declarations of Independence affixed to a 1″ × 1″ Jerusalem stone, all contained in display box with magnifying view piece.” Price tag: $2,700.
    Obama and Vladimir Putin are on the outs over Syria and Ukraine, but the Russian president still gave his American counterpart some modest presents. One entry lists a six-piece porcelain espresso cup set with gold inside and a silver leaf pattern on the outside, valued at $540.
    On another occasion, Putin gave the first couple three lavishly decorated porcelain plates, two porcelain tea sets, and a DVD from the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet, all estimated at $1,084.
    South African President Jacob Zuma provided the cheetah sculpture as well as four bottles of wine. Price tag: $1,288.03. Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete gave Obama a “full zebra skin mounted on felt” and a "painting of Maasai tribes-people," as well as an undescribed “sculpture.” $4,000.
    The curiously costly Godiva chocolates came from Morocco’s King, Mohammed VI, while the pisco was a gift of Peruvian President Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso.
    The State Department also lists gifts to other American officials.
    A member of the U.S. government staff carries a bust of Mahatma Gandhi, presented as a gift to President Barack
    In late 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a “black two-strand cushion pearl necklace with gemstones on a copper clasp” from Burma democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, valued at $970. Clinton purchased the necklace.
    The report doesn’t say what foreign government officials lavished CIA Director John Brennan with more than $20,000 in gifts last year.
    Instead of the giver’s name, the list cites 5 USC 7342 (f)(4), a U.S. law stating that the intelligence community can withhold the identity of the donor if “publication of such information could adversely affect United States intelligence sources or methods.”
    Among Brennan’s gifts: a $3,500 silk meditation rug, a double-edged curved dagger valued at $1,500 and a “Lalique frosted and clear glass falcon” estimated to be worth $2,500.
    The office of the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lists only one gift  and neither the name of the donor nor the recipient. The present, though, is described as a 6-by-10.5-inch enameled silver processional group of “an elephant with elaborate howdah flanked by a mounted horse and a mounted camel with a seed pearl bridle on a floral enameled and silver chased bottom stand in a fitted red brocade silk case.”A howdah is a seat for riding on the back of an elephant. The estimated value wasn’t classified: It was $500.
    But the gift that perhaps cries out the most for an explanation  or at least a bit more detail  went to General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His counterpart from Jordan gave Dempsey a dagger and some holy water, valued together at $450.

    Source : YahooNews