Afghan President Hamid Karzai will visit Saudi Arabia this week, a spokesman said Monday after the US-backed leader called on the oil-rich kingdom to help bring about peace with the Taliban. "The president will leave Kabul for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and meet with the Saudi king, King Abdullah, on Wednesday," presidential spokesman Siamak Herawi told AFP. He did not give further details but Karzai has long called on Saudi Arabia to use its influence to persuade the Islamist Taliban rebels to lay down their arms and join a peace initiative. "To make our programme a success we hope that His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia will kindly play a role to guide peace and assist the process," he told an international conference in London last week. Karzai called Sunday for Taliban leaders to join the scheme, which he has described as a "good chance to bring security" to Afghanistan.