Halfway home from Mideast, Kerry abruptly changes course to stay in Europe for Ukraine talks


SHANNON, Ireland — Halfway home from Saudi Arabia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has abruptly changed course and will stay in Europe for talks on Ukraine.

Flying from Riyadh to Shannon, Ireland, for a refueling stop today, Kerry decided to turn his plane around and will now travel to Paris for a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov likely on Monday. Kerry had already been due to return to Europe on Tuesday for a meeting with NATO foreign ministers.

Kerry was in Riyadh, as well as Rome and The Hague, with President Barack Obama this week, but was traveling on his own plane. Kerry had made a side trip to Jordan to work on salvaging foundering Mideast peace talks while Obama visited Brussels.