Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Santos: Colombia peace talks begin next month

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced (text here) that talks between his government and the FARC guerrillas will begin in October in Oslo and then move to Havana.  The “framework agreement” is the result of six months of talks in Havana, which built upon “channels that the previous government had established,” he said (AP, El Tiempo).

Santos said the talks will proceed without a ceasefire or concessions of territory, as occurred in an earlier attempt at negotiation.  They will cover rural development and access to land; guarantees for the exercise of political opposition and citizen participation; end of the armed conflict; drug trafficking; and the rights of victims.

Santos thanked the Cuban and Norwegian governments for their support, saying: “Without their presence it would not have been possible to come to this point.”  Cuba and Norway will serve as “hosts and guarantors” in the talks, he said, while Venezuela and Chile will be “companions.”

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