Arab League envoy resumes mission in Baghdad
Arab League envoy to Iraq, Hani Khalaf, is expected on Monday to resume the diplomatic work of the Arab League mission in Baghdad, the state Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.
In July Arab League Chief Amr Mussa appointed the retired diplomat, an Egyptian national, to head the Arab League representation in Iraq, reported dpa.
Khalaf made a number of visits to Baghdad in August to check the security situation there.
The Arab League office in Baghdad was previously headed by a Morrocan, Mukhtar Yemeni, who resigned in the summer of 2007 over the security conditions in the country. Since then the post has been vacant.
Khalaf is a former assistant to the foreign minister and has served as an Arab League envoy elsewhere.
Khalaf's move to Baghdad coincides with an unannounced visit the city by an Egyptian delegation headed by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Sunday.
During his visit Abul Gheit announced that Cairo would re-open its embassy in Baghdad soon.
Abul Gheit's visit, described as "historic" by Iraqi officials, is the first to the country by a high-level Egyptian official since 2003.
The last Egyptian envoy to Iraq, Ehab el-Sherif, was kidnapped and killed shortly after he arrived in 2005.
An improvement in the security situation in the country and a "diplomatic offensive" have helped Iraq thaw relations with Arab countries.
Four Arab countries have already decided to restore diplomatic relations with Iraq. Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Jordan have each named ambassadors to Iraq.
High level Arab leaders have recently made visits to the country. The most significant were the visits by Jordan's King Abdullah and Lebanon's Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in August and the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayid al-Nahyan in June.
After the US-led invasion in 2003, Arab countries have refrained from sending diplomats to Iraq, a reflection of the lack of security in the war-torn country and the regional disapproval of the US invasion.