Syria to allow women, children to leave besieged areas of Homs

GENEVA (AFP) - The Syrian regime has agreed to allow women and children to leave besieged rebel-held areas of the central city of Homs, United Nations mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Sunday at peace talks in Geneva.

"What we have been told by the government side is that women and children in this besieged area of the city are welcome to leave immediately," Mr Brahimi told reporters. "Hopefully starting tomorrow, women and children will be able to leave the Old City in Homs."

Mr Brahimi said on Sunday he was pleased with the general tone of peace talks between Syria's regime 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," he told reporters after meeting both delegations to discuss humanitarian issues.