U.S. President George W. Bush held talks with Saudi King Abdullah on Friday to seek help in taming record oil prices and shore up Arab support for his efforts to contain Iran's growing influence.
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia this year, Bush was renewing his appeal for more oil from OPEC amid rising pressure at home to act as record fuel prices weigh on the economy.
As Bush flew into Riyadh, the White House said the United States, the world's largest energy consumer, had agreed to help protect the resources of the world's top oil exporter and help it in developing peaceful nuclear energy.
Bush was likely to find common ground on Iran but Saudi Arabia showed little sign of responding to Bush's calls to get OPEC to pump more oil into world markets.
Since Bush's last visit, oil prices have jumped some $30 to a new record near $128 a barrel on Friday, adding to U.S. recession fears.
"Clearly the price of gas (gasoline) is too high for Americans," Perino said. "We have not enough supply and too high demand. Trying to get more supply out there is good for everyone."
US and Saudi cooperation
As part of the new oil security arrangements announced on Friday, the White House said the two allies would conclude an agreement for broader cooperation between the Saudi Interior Ministry and the U.S. government, but gave no details.
Apart from agreements to cooperate on nuclear energy and oil security, the White House said Saudi Arabia had agreed to join two global initiatives -- one to combat nuclear terrorism and another to fight the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Bush travels on to Egypt at the weekend to meet Palestinian leaders, and before then he will press the Saudis to do more to support faltering U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He wants to achieve a deal before he leaves office in January, but the deadline is widely regarded as unrealistic.
Bush also wants Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations to strengthen ties with Iraq, something they have been reluctant to do since the U.S.-led invasion that many of them opposed.