Syria talks stall in Geneva, Homs evacuation suspension to resume Wednesday
Special U.N. Envoy to Syria and international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters Tuesday that the second round of peace talks in Geneva between regime and opposition representatives are not making much progress.
The two sides agreed to meet for an additional round of talks following their first initial meeting late last month, but Brahimi told reporters, "The beginning of this week is as laborious as it was in the first week. We are not making much progress. Of course for it to really take off we need cooperation from both sides here and a lot of support from the outside."
While the slowly-progressing talks continue in Europe, evacuation efforts in Syria's city of Homs was suspended Tuesday "due to logistical problems," according to AFP's provincial governor source.
Homs governor Talal Barazi told reporters, "Today, operations didn't take place for logistical and technical reasons, [but] the evacuation of civilians and delivery of food aid will continue tomorrow (Wednesday) morning."
The governor did not provide any further details regarding why the evacuation of civilians from Syria's third largest city was suspended.
Aid envoys have been evacuating civilians from sieged areas of Homs in accordance with a resolution agreed upon during the first round of Geneva peace talks late last month between regime and opposition representatives. The people of Homs have been under regime siege for more than a year, with many facing starvation and related dire conditions. Evacuation efforts were expected to commence earlier this month, but security delays and road blockages previously prevents the aid envoys from reaching the sieged areas.
Women and children have been the primary group of evacuees, but the Syrian government reported Tuesday that they have allowed over 100 men between the ages of 16 and 54 to leave Homs after a questioning procedure that was used by the regime to ensure they were not linked with rebel groups, according to the Associated Press.
Over 1,151 civilians have been evacuated from Homs since Friday.
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