Brahimi: Mutual respect between Syrian sides

Brahimi: Mutual respect between Syrian sides
Sun Jan 26, 2014 21:00:35

UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi says he was pleased with the general tone of peace talks between Syrian government and the opposition in Geneva.

"I am happy, because in general there is mutual respect and they are aware of the fact that this attempt is important and we must continue. I hope that this mood will continue," Brahimi told reporters after meeting with both delegations to discuss humanitarian issues.

He admitted the talks were going slowly, saying that "This is a political negotiation. Everything we discuss is political". "Tomorrow I expect the two parties to make some general statement about the way forward."

The UN envoy said there have been agreements by both sides paving way for women and children to leave besieged areas in the city of Homs, while they also agreed to help release the prisoners and kidnapped people.

Brahimi said the opposition had agreed "they will try to collect a list of names" of people held by rebel forces they control or have contact with, to hand over to the regime to move the process of prisoner exchanges forward.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad confirmed that women and children would be allowed to leave and yet criticizing militant forces for blocking them in the first place.

"I have been personally involved over the past two years to get these women and children out of the Old City of Homs. But we could not. In all these attempts we have been prevented by the armed groups, who did not allow a single person out," Muqdad told reporters.

The Geneva II conference on Syria kicked off in the Swiss town of Montreux on January 22,  aiming to finding a political solution to the ongoing deadly crisis in the Arab country.


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