When the Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced from power last week, he and his family fled to Saudi Arabia, where they were granted exile.
Mr Ben Ali is not the first former world leader to be granted refuge there; Uganda's Idi Amin and Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif also spent time in the country.
So why does Saudi Arabia grant entry to ousted leaders?
Riccardo Orizio is an Italian journalist in Kenya; Sir Jeremy Greenstock is chairman of the United Nations Association UK.
First broadcast 24 January 2011