The deal would be part of a reconciliation effort between Iraq's government and extremist Shiite groups.
US envoy Mitchell was in Egypt Thursday, and arrives in Damascus Friday. Syrians hope for a new rapprochement under an Obama administration.
A tougher stance toward Pyongyang may complicate efforts to negotiate the release of the two women, who were sentenced Monday to 12 years of hard labor.
Readers write about religious leadership in Iraq, illegal immigration, an impending crisis in Sudan, and culture references across the generations.
Diplomatic presence on the scale of Iraq prompts concerns in Pakistan about American meddling