Syrian government says will allow woman, children out of Homs
Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 01:47
Jan. 26 - Syrian officials agreed to allow women,children to leave Homs during a second day of talks - even as they blamed the opposition for widescale destruction in the city. Deborah Gembara reports.
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On the second day of face to face talks between Syria's warring rivals -- an agreement about how to handle civilians trapped inside one of the country's most besieged city.
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi.
SOUNDBITE: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi saying:
"Hopefully, starting tomorrow women and children will be able to leave the old city in Homs. And I hope that the rest of the civilians will be able to leave soon after that
While the announcement is seen as progress ---it came with a fair amount of finger-pointing about which side is responsible for the devastation.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister, Faysal Makdad.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SYRIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, FAYSAL MAKDAD, SAYING:
Look the old city of Homs is our city. It is not a city in another corner of the world and all the destruction you have seen in the result of the shelling by the armed groups who were destroying everything, including the churches and the mosques, the hospitals and the schools. So, it's a big lie that the government is shelling these people."
Humanitarian aid--- considered one of the less contentious issues -- dominated the first two days ahead of what will undoubtedly be heated discussions about the country's future.
SOUNDBITE) (English) SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SYRIAN NATIONAL COALITION LOUAY SAFI SAYING:
''Tomorrow we start talking about transition from dictatorship to democracy. Clearly the regime is not enthusiastic to talk about that. They are stalling, they are trying to use delay tactics, trying to go into details about information that can't be verified, they are asking about names, a list of names of people who were blockaded rather than providing humanitarian corridors.''
Brahimi attempted to manage expectations, and declined to share a timeline for the rest of the talks.
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