Europe

British foreign secretary stresses friendship in Saudi visit

Britain's foreign secretary is emphasizing the depth of his country's friendship during a visit to Saudi Arabia as he tries to defuse controversy over comments seen as critical of the kingdom.

Boris Johnson met Sunday with King Salman and other top officials in Riyadh days after The Guardian newspaper released a video of him saying Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in Mideast "proxy wars."

A Saudi-led coalition allied with Yemen's government is fighting Iranian-backed rebels in a conflict that has killed more than 4,000 civilians.

During a press conference with Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Johnson offered assurances of Britain's friendship and stressed the importance of "candor" in their relationship.

He expressed concern about civilian suffering in Yemen while noting security threats Saudi Arabia faces from the conflict.