Issue 183 - 27 Oct 1986
When General George Crist, the commanding general-of the United States' Central Command, came to Saudi Arabia earlier this month, his meeting with Defence Minister Prince Sultan was accorded a brief two-line mention by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA). The Agency's terse description of the meeting ("They reviewed bilateral relations") suggested an official decision not to draw too much attention to the event. The meagre coverage given within the kingdom to General Crist's visit contrasted notably with that afforded to another recent visitor, the French Minister of Defence, Andre Giraud. Even allowing for the protocol difference in rank between a minister and a general, the generous media exposure given to the Frenchman made the tiny ration allotted to the American look positively grudging.

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