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Colombia rebels, government, resume Havana peace talks

AFP | Last Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 22:42

Havana: Marxist FARC rebels and representatives from Colombia`s government sat down together on Tuesday for the first time in more than a month, tying up loose ends as they embark on a new round of peace talks.

The meeting is the first between the two sides since the re-election last month of President Juan Manuel Santos, which gave a big push to the talks.

Officials told AFP that a few unspecified unresolved matters would have to be attended to before the two sides can take up the next agenda item, the thorny issue of compensating victims of the half century long conflict.
"There are one or two meetings to wrap up unresolved things before starting on the issue of the victims," a source in the government`s delegation told AFP.

"It is not exactly a new round of talks, rather a meeting of the parties to deal with some issues," said Andres Paris, a member of the delegation representing the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

Agreement between the two sides has been already decided on three agenda points, rural development; the rebels` reintegration into the political process; and illegal drugs.

In addition to the question of victims` compensation, there are two more issues to be taken up, the laying down of weapons by the FARC and determining whether an eventual comprehensive peace agreement should be put to a national referendum, as the government insists.
Talks on ending Latin America`s longest running armed conflict, which has raged since the FARC`s founding in 1964, have been under way in Havana since November 2012.

A center-right leader, Santos had staked his presidency on a negotiated peace with the FARC, Latin America`s oldest and largest insurgency, with about 8,000 men under arms.

First Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 22:42

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