President Barack Obama left Tuesday for his first trip as president to the Middle East, where he will make stops in Saudi Arabia and Egypt in a bid to revive peace moves and boost ties with the region. President Obama travels first to Saudi Arabia and then to Egypt, where he will make a keynote speech on ties with the region. In Saudi Arabia, Mr Obama will hold talks with King Abdullah in Riyadh. As well as regional issues, Mr Obama said he would raise the issue of oil prices with the Saudi ruler. The tour itinerary does not include Israel but shortly before departing for Saudi Arabia, Mr. Obama had a meeting with Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, in Washington. Speaking ahead of his visit, President Obama said he believed the US was "going to be able to get serious negotiations back on track" between Israel and the Palestinians. He said his visit offered the US and the Islamic world the chance "to listen to each other a little bit more".