Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has received his first invitation to meet President Bush at his Texas ranch. Sharon has visited the White House 10 times since he took office in 2001 but has never been to the ranch. The invitation is seen as attempt by Bush to bolster Sharon, who is facing fierce opposition to his Gaza withdrawal plan at home. The Prairie Chapel ranch is often used by the President to reward and strengthen important allies. Sharon has tried to rally support for the Gaza plan by showing that it is strengthening Israel’s all-important ties with the US.