Arab League chief flies to Baghdad

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, who has drawn criticism for failing to play a larger role in backing Iraqi's post-Saddam Hussein government,

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October 20, 2005 09:45
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Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, who has drawn criticism for failing to play a larger role in backing Iraqi's post-Saddam Hussein government, flew to Baghdad Thursday for a highly symbolic first visit since the ousting of the former dictator. Moussa was to be in Baghdad for three days at the head of a 34-member Arab League delegation. He issued no statement as he left Cairo airport. Earlier he had said the visit would serve to follow up on a reconciliation mission launched last week by a league survey team that traveled to Baghdad. The delegation came under insurgent fire, but no one in the delegation was hurt. Two Iraqi policemen guarding the group were killed. Moussa was expected to make final preparations for a reconciliation conference at the league's Cairo headquarters once results of Saturday's constitutional referendum in Iraq were released. He also planned to meet with Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, as well as government and tribal leaders. Moussa has also come under fire for not issuing a stronger condemnation of the Sunni-led insurgency.

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