BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 19:28 GMT
Iraq PM leaves for check-up in UK
Nouri Maliki
Mr Maliki was said to be exhausted by continuous work
Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki has left for medical tests in Britain. His spokesman said he was in good health but suffering from mild exhaustion.

He said recent security improvements had given Mr Maliki, 57, the chance to make his trip now.

Mr Maliki himself said he was going for routine check-ups and would return to Iraq soon.

State television showed him looking healthy as he walked to his plane at Baghdad airport from the terminal.

Decline in violence

A British government spokesman confirmed the planned visit but had no other comment.

Recent months have seen a decline in violence in Iraq as the American troop surge takes hold and Sunni nationalists lose patience with al-Qaeda.

But Mr Maliki has been struggling to form a new government including Sunni representatives as well as his own Shia supporters.

Bush 'to veto' troop funding bill
28 Dec 07 |  Americas
Crunch year ahead for Iraq
28 Dec 07 |  Middle East
US 'kills 11 militants' in Iraq
27 Dec 07 |  Middle East
Iraq government backs amnesty law
26 Dec 07 |  Middle East
Exile condemns Iraqi 'corruption'
13 Oct 07 |  Middle East
Sadr group quits Iraq ruling bloc
15 Sep 07 |  Middle East
Country profile: Iraq
22 Dec 07 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific