Saudi, US officials affirm ties amid political tensions

Industry is hopeful a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and President George W. Bush-at presstime still scheduled last week at the president’s ranch in Crawford, Tex.-will help ease growing concerns that Middle East tensions will stifle investment in the kingdom.To join Abdullah in Texas were two key officials whose cooperation is needed to move various projects forward: Ali al-Naimi, minister of petroleum and mineral resources, who is officially overseeing the kingdom’s $25 billion gas initiative plan designed to give foreign investors a stake in natural gas, water, and electricity projects; and Ibrahim al-Assaf, minister of finance and national economy, whose task ...

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