Iraq sends delegation to Syria for crisis talks

December 17, 2011 12:23

BAGHDAD - Iraq has sent a delegation to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and his opponents in an attempt to help end months of violence in its neighbor, a senior government official said on Saturday.

Iraq's Shi'ite-led government has resisted Arab League calls for sanctions against Assad, and Iraqi leaders are worried that unrest in Syria will spill across the frontier and upset Iraq's own delicate sectarian balance.

Earlier this month, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said he has asked the Iraqi government to help influence Syria to agree to an Arab League-proposed peace plan.

"We are going to meet government officials. The approval is there from both parties," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's media advisor Ali al-Moussawi told Reuters.

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