Jan. 27 - Syria's opposition delegation at the United Nations in Geneva expects talks to focus on political transition and aid for Homs. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The Syrian government came under pressure on Monday (January 27) to allow aid trucks into the besieged rebel city of Homs as negotiators sought to keep peace talks on track by focusing on humanitarian gestures. The government said women and children could leave Homs and government and opposition delegates also spoke of releasing prisoners. However, an opposition spokesperson said the focus should be on the formation of a transitional governing body. "Today we will talk about transition. Geneva communique, which is the basis of this process, says that there should be a political transition towards democracy by formation of a transitional governing body with full executive authority including army and security. This is what is going to happen today as I say. The political transition is going to be discussed today but we will still, in a parallel way, try to achieve progress in the humanitarian issues," Monzer Akbik, spokesperson for the Syrian National Coalition told reporters as the first talks of the day were underway. There was little sign of a softening of positions on the core issue - whether or not President Bashar al-Assad should quit now, as the opposition and their Western and Arab backers say was agreed by a United Nations conference at Geneva 18 months ago.