UPDATE 2-Arab League team in Syria to prepare monitoring

Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:27pm GMT

Dabi, who coordinated between Sudan's government and international peacekeepers there, told reporters at Cairo airport he would meet League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to follow up on arrangements for the observer mission.

He said observers would work "with complete transparency to observe the situation in Syria", adding it would hold continuous meetings in the field with all factions, including the Syrian army, opposition, security forces and humanitarian groups.

League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told Reuters on Tuesday that 150-strong observers would demand free access to hospitals, prisons and other sites across the country.

He also said the team would issue daily reports that would be shown to but not vetted by the Syrian authorities. Elaraby said the monitors could be in Syria before the end of December.

The advance team making preparations for the mission is led by top League official Samir Seif al-Yazal and comprises 11 people, including financial, administrative and legal experts, officials said.

"During our visit to Syria, we will work on some necessary arrangements to receive the mission on the ground, such as accommodation, transport, communications and security," Yazal said shortly before he flew out of Cairo.

Elaraby said monitors would need no more than a week from arrival to see whether Syria was abiding by the peace plan. He said 10 four-wheel drive vehicles were being sent from Iraq to Syria to help out the observers. (Writing by Edmund Blair)

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