Colombia’s rebel chief optimistic about peace talks

Colombia’s rebel chief optimistic about peace talks
# 16 October 2012 04:36 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The chief of Colombia’s guerrilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) said Monday that all members of the group are "enthusiastic" about the coming round of peace talks, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

"We have arrived at an agreement to set a table (for talks) to open the way to achieving peace with social justice," Rodrigo Londono Echeverria, FARC’s top commander, said at a local radio program.

"There is no doubt that all the guerrillas, from the newest to the oldest, are enthusiastic about this new attempt (to broker peace)," he said.

Negotiations to end 50 years of fighting between government forces and the leftist rebels, which were originally scheduled for Monday in Oslo, Norway, were delayed due to international arrest warrants against members of FARC’s negotiating team.

"Anyone with a valid arrest warrant (against him) runs a risk wherever he may be," said the guerrilla leader.

Talks are now tentatively rescheduled for Wednesday.

On the possibility of a private meeting between rebel leaders and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as part of the peace talks, Londono said it has neither been proposed nor dismissed.

In late August, Santos announced the beginning of the peace talks, which marked the third attempt to end the longest-running armed conflict in Latin America following two previous failures in 1984 and in 1998-2002.

Venezuela and Chile have been invited to "be present at" the talks, which are expected to continue in Havana, Cuba, after opening in Norway.
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