Jan. 26 - International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi says the Syrian government is allowing women and children to leave the besieged city of Homs immediately, as Syrian peace talks continue. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Sunday that the Syrian government delegation at peace talks in Geneva had told him that authorities would allow women and children to leave the besieged old district of Homs city straight away. "What we have been told by the government side is that women and children in the besieged area of the old city are welcome to leave immediately," Brahimi told a news conference after talks with government and opposition delegations. The veteran diplomat said the opposition delegation, which has been calling on the government to release tens of thousands of detainees, had agreed to a government request to provide a list of detainees held by armed rebel groups. "Irrelevant of the discussions between the two parties, we've been appealing to the government to release women, children and the aged that are in detention. The government has asked the opposition to give them a list of the people that are in detention in the hands of the various armed groups. And the opposition agreed that they will try and collect the lists." said Brahimi. Brahimi also said he would meet the two sides jointly on Monday, when they are expected to discuss opposition demands for the creation of a transitional governing body. Government and opposition delegations discussed aid and prisoner releases during a Sunday morning session in Geneva which had aimed to build some kind of trust between the sides who are implacably at odds over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.