The meeting will also include talks on Trump’s promise to restart peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.
“Everyone agrees that a fresh approach could be helpful in solving this long-running conflict and President Trump certainly brings that – but Arab leaders will want to hear more than optimism, they’ll want to know the US president’s plan to move forward,” Bays said.
After the visit in Saudi Arabia, Trump will head to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories where he will meet his “friend” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
There are no plans for Trump to bring the two leaders together, a senior US official told the Reuters news agency, saying the administration does not believe it is the “right time just yet”.
Trump will then fly to the Vatican to meet Pope Francis, who has said he will give the US president an open-minded hearing, despite differences in belief on everything from climate change to policies towards refugees.
Trump will later meet members of NATO in Brussels and attend a G7 summit in Italy.
The foreign trip comes as Trump faces growing criticism at home.
As the US president jetted off to Saudi Arabia, reports by US media emerged that a senior adviser to Trump was a “person of interest” in a probe of possible collusion with Russia during last year’s election campaign and that the US president had boasted to Russian officials after firing former FBI Director James Comey earlier this month.
On Thursday, Trump also denounced the announcement of special counsel to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged Russia meddling in the election and possible collusion with Trump’s team.