Arab League plans to open office in Iraq soon

The Arab League will open offices in Iraq for the first time since the 2003 US-led invasion, part of its efforts to help reconcile the country's sharply divided Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurdish communities, the league's chief said Saturday. The representation office would represent an increased level of engagement by the Arab League, which largely avoided involvement in Iraq's efforts until late last year. The move comes amid fears that increasing sectarian violence in Iraq could further split the country. The United States has been seeking greater Arab involvement in Iraq, hoping to give legitimacy to the current government. But Arab nations were long reluctant, fearing participation would be seen as condoning the US invasion, which many of them opposed.