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From the Geneva peace talks, delegates from the Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian government are deciding whether to release the hostages in Homs, Syria. Russian delegates said that humanitarian aid would possibly relieve tensions at the Geneva talks, but the Syrian National Coalition has accused the Syrian government of “lecturing” them rather than coming to a decision.
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the tensions are high at the talks, according to Reuters. “All this would strengthen trust and affect the atmosphere at the talks in Geneva,” he said. “Beyond this it is very difficult to make guesses; the situation is extremely grave, positions are polarized, emotions are on the edge.”
The opposition’s delegates said that they are seeking the release of 47,000 detainees and 2,500 imprisoned women and children.
According to Associated Press, the U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will be meeting with the delegations from both the Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian government headed by President Bashar al-Assad.
Brahimi said the first steps toward appeasement or peace would involve exchanging hostages and giving humanitarian aid, said Associated Press.
These Geneva talks will continue on Monday, when Brahimi said that he hopes to talk about a possible transitional government, although he is aware that such a topic may rouse tensions.
Associated Press described Homs as having a pre-war population of 1 million, but after the war, most residents have left. Obaida Nahas of the Syrian National Coalition said that 12 convoy trucks to Homs have not yet been allowed in, and nearly 800 families are trapped without access to food, water or basic necessities.
So far, 130,000 people have died because of this civil war.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons