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Iraq frees 33 Egyptian prisoners

March 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

BAGHDAD, March 5 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he's issued an amnesty decree for Egyptian prisoners in the country ahead of a state visit.

Some 33 Egyptian prisoners will be set free under a blanket pardon and allowed to return to their native country, Middle East News Agency said Tuesday. The two nations had been discussing a prisoner exchange for more than a year, officials said.

The decision came as Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil visits Baghdad on an economic mission to foster greater cooperation between the Arab states.

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