US Secretary of State Mr Rex Tillerson is spending a weekend in Saudi Arabia, officially for assisting in the Iraq - Saudi Arabia talks between King Salman (SA) and Prime Minister Haider al-Abad (Ir) before flying off to the Qatari capital Doha to try and ease tensions between the regional powers and the Qatar emir.
As to this last item, the hope of Mr Tillerson is quite dim: "I do not have a lot of expectations for it being resolved anytime soon. There seems to be a real unwillingness on the part of some of the parties to want to engage. It's up to the leadership of the quartet when they want to engage with Qatar because Qatar has been very clear, they're ready to engage."
However, everyone knows that there will only be one item on the non-official agenda during Mr Tillerson’s meeting with Saudi King Salman: Iran.
The US needs to know that it can count on Saudi Arabia for support in a front against Iran, not only as to the future situation of Syria, but also as to what will happen when the US pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal.
Mr Tillerson’s participation in the meeting between Saudi Arabia and Iraq is seen as a diplomatic push by the US White House Administration to shore up a middle east coalition against the growing reach of Iran.
The said reach of the Islamic Republic of Iran which, thanks to having supported the winner of the Syrian war, Mr Bashar Al-Assad, now wields influence from the Persian Gulf all the way to the Mediterranean sea.
King Salman’s comments proved hopeful that Saudi Arabia will continue to be on the US side in its foreseeable dispute with Iran, when he made a veiled threat to Iran by saying: “We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of extremism, terrorism as well as attempts to destabilize our countries. These attempts require our full attention.”