Colombia, FARC to resume peace talks

Havana, Dec 4 (IANS/EFE) The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group have said that the next round of peace talks will held here Dec 10-17.

“The national government and FARC delegations, after jointly analysing the events of the past few weeks, consider the crisis resolved,” the parties said in a joint statement Wednesday.

In the upcoming round of the two-year-old talks, aimed at ending a 50-year-old armed struggle, the parties will seek to “advance on de-escalating the conflict with a view to reaching an agreement on that issue as soon as possible”.

The government and the FARC have reached agreement on three issues of their six-point agenda — land reform, political participation for the guerrillas, and efforts to combat drug trafficking.

The three remaining issues are the rights of victims, rebel disarmament and implementation of the peace accord, which would have to be approved in a popular referendum.

The parties also have agreed to “establish a permanent mechanism via the guarantor nations to facilitate a solution to eventual crises that many arise in the future”.

The agreement announced in Havana ends the crisis that erupted after the FARC’s Nov 16 capture of Colombian army’s General Ruben Dario Alzate and two other people in the northwestern province of Choco, an action that prompted President Juan Manuel Santos to suspend the talks a day later.

–IANS/EFE

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