Colombian President Santos says FARC is willing to meet him

Colombian President Santos says FARC is willing to meet him

Colombia to restart peace talks with insurgents ELN

Colombia is to resume a process of peace talks with the guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) by the end of this month, the country’s chief negotiator said on Thursday.

The talks began last September and stalled over disagreement on the terms of the two sides’ proposed accords.

In December, the UN asked Colombia, the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support the peace process and provide US$7.8 billion in loans and support.

In April, the UN Security Council approved a set of proposals that included the setting up of an International Commission for the Demarcation of Land from the Armed Conflict (CIDCA).

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in December that he would hold talks with Colombian rebel chief Manuel Marulanda and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but that they had failed to agree on the terms outlined in the two accords, which included a new demilitarisation agreement and a peace deal.

Mr Santos said after talks on Thursday in the Colombian capital, Bogota, that the FARC was willing to meet him, but only if they were at the same table, and that they “agreed to the fundamental issues”, reported news agency AFP.

Mr Santos said that there was still a lot of work to do and that he was not seeking peace with the FARC in a separate way.

“We’re going to have to discuss the issues they agreed regarding the demilitarisation process, the demilitarised zone, the demilitarisation of the FARC, so I’d like to say that we cannot do it if we can’t talk about everything,” he said, according to AFP.

“If we don’t talk about everything, I don’t know if we’ll be able to solve this problem, so we have to talk about everything and I believe we can solve it.”

Colombia recently announced a major offensive against left-wing rebels in the northwest, the FARC said earlier this month it was willing to talk peace if the Government respected human rights, and said it was willing to discuss all issues including drug trafficking.

‘Not a new stage’

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