27-28 March:At the Arab summit in Beirut on 27-28 March, Crown Prince Abdullah launches his plan as an Arab peace initiative. Despite an ill-tempered conference, marred by the absences of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah, the plan is unanimously endorsed by the summit as the Beirut declaration.

20 April:As Iraq and Iran call for a Muslim oil embargo of the US, Foreign Affairs Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal promises that the kingdom will not use oil as a weapon.

25 April:Crown Prince Abdullah meets President Bush at his ranch in Crawford Texas. Over five hours, the two discuss the peace plan and the crown prince proposes an eight-point implementation programme. ‘Our partnership is important to both [the Israeli and Palestinian] nations,’ said Bush after the meeting. ‘As to where we head from now, one of the things that I think is important for the crown prince to have heard is we’re interested in his advice, we’re interested in his counsel.’

13 June: Prince Saud al-Faisal visits Washington for discussions with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, soon after the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. A day before the prince’s visit, Crown Prince Abdullah speaks with Bush by telephone to discuss the US president’s plans to announce a major new policy initiative.