The chief of an Arab League observer team to restive Syria said Wednesday he was "optimistic" about his mission, aimed at ending ten months of deadly violence in the country dpa reported
"So far the Syrian authorities have been cooperative, but we will not give details about our report to the press," Sudanese General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, who heads the mission, told the London-based Al Hayat newspaper in remarks published Wednesday.
He said that he had met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and would see other officials.
"Things look bright. I am optimistic that we will take positive steps forward," he said, noting that the mission was the first of its kind in the history of the Arab League.
The semi-official website Syria-News, meanwhile, quoted Dabi as saying that the observers, who toured Syria's restive central city of Homs on Tuesday, collected feedback "from all parties" during the first day of their field assessment.
Syria's Al-Dunia television reported Wednesday that the observers will travel to the protest hubs of Hama and Idlib close to the border with Turkey, without giving a timetable.
The observers' main task is to oversee the implementation of an Arab League plan calling for the withdrawal of security forces from civilian areas and the release of people detained during the turmoil.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in the Syrian government's crackdown on pro-democracy protests since they began in mid-March, according to the United Nations.