Arab League team to Syria to prepare monitoring

CAIRO - An advance team from the Arab League headed to Syria on Thursday to prepare for the arrival of monitors to assess whether Damascus is acting to end a bloody nine-month crackdown on anti-government protesters, a League official said.
The official said they were "taking off now" from Cairo.
Officials have said the advance team, led by top League official Samir Seif al-Yazal, would comprise about 10 people, including financial, administrative and legal experts to ensure monitors have free access across the country.
The government of President Bashar al-Assad agreed at the start of November to the Arab plan demanding an end to fighting, the withdrawal of troops from residential areas, the release of prisoners and the start of a dialogue with the opposition. It only agreed to let in monitors this month.
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