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Colombian peace talks advance despite differences
Published on February 13, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- Peace talks currently taking place in Havana between the Colombian guerrillas and the government of that country are progressing well, although there are different views on the treatment of the agreed schedule, the parties said on Monday.

Ivan Marquez, leader of the rebel delegation, after the conclusion of another round of talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) and the government of Colombia, said the points agreed last August must be enriched.

Marquez stressed the need to take into account the views expressed by social and political organizations in the forums of popular participation on agricultural issues held in Bogotá and other regions of the nation, which is a major point of the discussion at the negotiating table in Havana.

Meanwhile, Humberto de la Calle, head of the government group, said the agenda of talks won’t include any new issue raised by FARC-EP, and recalled that any agreement "will be implemented only when the guerrillas lay down arms and reintegrate into civilian life.”

He added the FARC-EP’s proposals such as the mining-energy issue and an eventual end to the construction of megaprojects for power generation are not part of the discussions in the talks.

On that subject, the insurgent group posed the need to prioritize the encouragement of food production and artisanal mining, under socio-ecological criteria for the sovereignty of Colombia.

Both sides reaffirmed Havana as the permanent venue of the meetings, and the will to progress in the talks aimed at ending the social and armed conflict that Colombia suffers.

On the agricultural issue, the first item on the agenda, they said there are similarities in terms of the need for progressive access to land to the greatest number of Colombians.

The talks between the FARC-EP and the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, with Cuba and Norway as guarantors, and the accompaniment of Chile and Venezuela, will be resumed on February 18.
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