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Arab League Chief Visits Iraq's Kurdistan Region

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa is in northern Iraq's Kurdistan region, as part of his first visit to Iraq in nearly four years.

Moussa met Thursday with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani at Mr. Talabani's home in the city of Sulaimaniya. The Kurdish region's prime minister, Nechirvan Barzani, attended the talks.

The news agency for Mr. Talabani's political party, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, or PUK, quotes him as saying he hopes Moussa will encourage Arab countries to open embassies in Baghdad. Mr. Talabani said the Arab presence will play a positive role in Iraq's independence and sovereignty.

Moussa was previously in Iraq's holy city of Najaf, where he held talks with the country's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

After meeting Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, Moussa said he sees a prosperous future for Iraq.

He said Iraqi government policies, including reconciliation efforts between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, have led to more stability in the country.

Moussa also said he would like Iraq to resume an important role in Arab affairs.

The Arab League secretary general arrived in Iraq on Monday.