SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) – U.S. President George W. Bush is hopeful that after talks with Saudi King Abdullah OPEC will authorize an increase in oil production to ease pressure on prices.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday that Bush brought up the subject of high gas prices, and their negative effect on world economies, after having dinner with the king Tuesday night in Saudi Arabia. “The president said there’s a hope, as a result of these conversations, that OPEC would be encouraged to authorize an increase in production,” Perino told reporters on Air Force One before it landed in Egypt.
The White House would not provide more details about Bush’s conversations with the king. “Obviously, it was a private conversation,” she said. “We are reluctant to provide a readout of them.”
The president reiterated the issue of there being tight supply and very high and rising demand not just in America but around the world, especially in India and China, Perino said.
“This is not a situation that is going to be solved overnight, and that’s why the president has been pursuing aggressively alternative and renewable forms of energy,” she said.
Bush arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh on a warm sunny day and was greeted at the bottom of the stairs of Air Force One by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt is the final stop on Bush’s eight-day Mideast trip.