Iraqi vice president in Syria for talks

Iraq's vice president arrived in Syria on Monday for talks ahead of Saturday's conference in Baghdad of world powers and Iraq's neighbors. On arrival at Damascus airport Tariq al-Hashemi, who was met by his Syrian counterpart Farouk al-Sharaa, appealed for Arab states to redouble their efforts to put an end to the conflict in his country. Iraq's neigbors and representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are due to attend a two-day conference on Iraq that starts Saturday in Baghdad. Hashemi is expected to meet Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday.