The Latest: British PM May makes surprise stop in Iraq
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on developments from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Middle East tour (all times local):
British Prime Minister Theresa May has made a surprise visit to Iraq as part of a tour of the Mideast.
Iraq’s government released footage Wednesday of May arriving in Baghdad to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. It’s May’s first trip to Iraq as prime minister.
May is scheduled to later travel to Saudi Arabia, where she will meet the assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Al-Abadi later said May’s visit showed Britain’s “support and help” in fighting the Islamic State group. Some 600 British troops are deployed to the country.
The Iraqi politician added: “Iraq is about to enter a new stage of rebuilding, reconstruction and investment. Today, we discussed with the prime minister the strengthening of economic and commercial ties between the two countries.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Saudi Arabia for talks with its assertive crown prince over the kingdom-led war in Yemen.
May’s visit Wednesday will include her asking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to allow humanitarian aid through Yemen’s port of Hodeida, which is held by the Shiite rebels being targeted in the Saudi-led war.
A U.N.-chartered aid vessel docked at Hodeida on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia closed off Yemen’s seaports and airports over a Nov. 4 rebel ballistic-missile launch that targeted the Saudi capital of Riyadh. It later promised it would reopen the ports.
The Saudi-led coalition began its war in Yemen in March 2015 on behalf of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
The conflict has pushed the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.