Joint UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi holds press conference in Geneva. Photo: Violaine Martin

Top of the Morning: Progress on Syria Humanitarian Agreement for Homs

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

Syria Agrees to Let Women and Children Leave Besieged City

 Lifting the siege of Homs is one of the key goals of UN negotiators. “This is a step forward, if implemented. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said women and children were free to leave. He alleged armed groups were preventing them from leaving. Mr Brahimi said that the opposition had agreed to give the government lists of detainees held by armed groups. He said it was ‘too early’ to assess the prospects of a comprehensive deal. He admitted the talks were proceeding slowly but said that on Monday he ‘expected the two parties to make some general statement about the way forward.’” (BBC

Philippines Signs Historic Peace Agreement with Rebel Group

The government has entered into an agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a signature achievement of President Aquino. ”The Philippine government and the country’s largest Muslim insurgency group negotiated the final details of a peace accord on Saturday that many hope will end more than 40 years of violence that has killed tens of thousands of people and helped nurture Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia. The agreement will create an autonomous Muslim-dominated region in the restive south of the predominantly Christian country, handing much of the responsibility for security there to local authorities as well as a large share of revenues from the region’s wealth of natural resources. The militants have agreed to disarm, with many expected to join Philippine security forces.” (NYT