After a pleasant visit to Rome visiting the Coliseum and Pope Francis, US President Barak Obama has now landed in Saudi Arabia.
Awaiting him, will be many critical issues to clarify if Mr. Obama can keep the Kingdoms trust as a key ally in the region.
American-Saudi ties have been strained over several key events in recent years. The King Abdullah has not hidden the fact that he has had displeasure over the ways Mr. Obama has been handling affairs in the Middle East.
The Saudis do not like the inaction, a they see it, of America in dealing with Bashar Assad of Syria and the terrible state of war that country is in.
Things came to a head when President Obama did not make good on military retaliation for the alleged use of Chemical weapons against rebels in a Damascus suburb. Saudi Arabi made public their disappointment in the President for the perceived about face in light of the hundreds of lives lost.
The Saudi's are still adement about military intervention to change the balance of power on the ground in favor of the Rebels.
They in fact, arm some rebels in their fight against the Assad regime.
The White House has said that there is no military solution to the conflict and that political means offer the best way forward.
One interesting thing is that Mr. Obama may use this conflict to pressure Russia in regard to their actions in Ukraine and Crimea.
Russia has been a stalwart supporter of Assad in Syria.
Another issue is Iran. You may recall that the Saudi's removed themselves from sitting at the UN security Council over the revelation that America was conducting secret talks with the Iranians over their Nuclear program – something the Saudis and Israel see eye to eye on.
And then there is Egypt…
The Saudis believe the America turned their back on Hosni Mubarak and are largely to blame for that country's instability.
The Saudi's do not want to see militant Islam gain control of Egypt, they have no love for the Muslim Brotherhood, and have been actively supporting the transitional government with billions of dollars in aid when America cut funding to Cairo after the bloody crackdown of protesters raging against Mohammed Morsi's ouster by his Defense Minister (then) General Sisi.
If Mr. Obama plans on asking for the Saudi's support for the Palestinian Israeli peace talks he won't find an ear listening there…
He tried that on his last visit to the Kingdom – and that was when he was loved and admired for the hope of change Mr. Obama brought.
It's definitely a different ballgame now, and one for which we can pray, as the Bible instructs us to, for our leaders in the world.
Middle East Correspondent