France may be an ever better dhimmi than President Handholder. From the World Tribune, with thanks to Looney Tunes:
The Saudi kingdom could augment or replace strategic ties with London and Washington by increasing relations with France, the Washington Institute said in a report. The institute cited a French report of a defense memorandum of understanding that paves the way for the French sale of up to $15 billion in aircraft and security projects to Riyad.
The institute’s report, authored by Gulf analyst Simon Henderson, was issued on the eve of the meeting between U.S. President George Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in Crawford, Texas on Monday.
Abdullah and Bush last met three years ago. The president has indicated that he would press Abdullah to increase Saudi oil exports as prices approach $60 a barrel, Middle East Newsline reported.
Abdullah, who met Vice President Richard Cheney on Sunday, was expected to face a tough session with Bush.
Yeah. Bush hadn’t had a manicure for awhile.
“If recent signals from the Saudis are any indication, the talks could be tough,” the study said. “Indeed, the frank talk promised for the Crawford summit could well mark a turning point in U.S.-Saudi relations.”
“The president [Bush] has a plethora of concerns heading into the meeting, including Saudi views on terrorism, democratic reform, oil prices, and nuclear proliferation,” the study added. “Although Washington is pleased by recent Saudi successes against Al Qaida, it remains worried about the potential for Islamic militancy in the kingdom. U.S. nationals in Saudi Arabia remain vulnerable to terrorist attacks.”…
“The contrast between the Crawford and Paris meetings is likely to be great, leading to speculation that Riyad might upgrade its relations with France to a strategic friendship rivaling its historic relationship with the United States,” the study said….