George W. Bush has arrived in the Arab world’s richest country, as his most extensive Middle East tour nears its end.
With a history of close American ties, Saudi Arabia is a crucial stage in the visit.
The US leader is hoping to convince King Abdullah to lend his active support to Middle East peacemaking, including financial backing for Palestinian leaders involved in the process.
The president also wants help in maintaining American pressure on Iran. He has used his Middle East trip to sound a warning about the country.
But while Gulf Arabs share Washington’s concerns about curbing their powerful Shi’ite neighbour, they are also eager to avoid another war on their doorstep.