Blair pays surprise visit to Iraq
British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived in Baghdad Tuesday for talks with Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in a surprise visit to Iraq.
Blair flew into the Iraqi capital about 11 a.m. aboard a British military transport aircraft from Jordan. He walked across the airport tarmac and boarded a Royal Air Force helicopter that flew him to the Baghdad's center, escorted by U.S. Black Hawk helicopters.
His visit had not been disclosed beforehand for security reasons.
It was Blair's first visit to Baghdad and his third to Iraq since Saddam Hussein was ousted in April 2003. Blair visited British troops stationed around the southern Iraqi city of Basra in mid-2003 and in January.
Before heading for talks with the Iraqi prime minister, Blair met the commander of the multinational force, U.S. Army Gen. George W. Casey, and the senior British military officer in Iraq, Lt. Gen. John Kiszely.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)