After the Syrian peace talks nearly broke down Friday, it now appears the Syrian government and main opposition group have reached some common ground.
LAKHDAR BRAHIMI: "Now, I hope, we are approaching a solution — at least for the civilians." (Via BBC)
Under the deal reached in Geneva, Switzerland, Syria's regime has agreed to allow women and children to leave the embattled city of Homs. (Via U.S. State Department)
— A city that's been under control of the Syrian regime for about a year. While thousands have fled the city, the opposition says there are some 800 families left in need of food and medicine. (Via Channel 4)
The agreement isn't quite what the opposition had aimed for. They'd pushed for a local cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid into the city. Still, it's a first step, albeit a small one, toward compromise.
Sunday marks the second day of face-to-face peace talks between representatives of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's government and the opposition members who want to oust him. (Via U.S. State Department)
The most contentious topic — a possible transitional government — hadn't come up yet in their direct talks. The opposition, supported by the U.S. and its allies, says Assad can play no role in Syria’s future; while the government says a regime change isn’t necessary to move forward. (Via CBS)
That issue has been shelved for the time being to allow for a focus on more short-term agreements, including a prisoner exchange.
The opposition, led by the Syrian National Coalition, has agreed to hand over a list of detainees held by various rebel groups. It too is asking for the Syrian government to release political prisoners. (Via Euronews)
The United Nations says, if negotiators agree to send aid to Homs, it has a humanitarian convoy that could reach the city as soon as Monday.