Colombian government, FARC to restart peace talks

Bogota, Oct 29 (IANS) The Colombian government and the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will return to the negotiation table from November 3, to seek a new peace agreement.

Both parties held a press conference on Friday at Havana’s Convention Centre, the venue of the last negotiations for four years, and agreed to try and quickly reach a definitive peace deal, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ivan Marquez, chief of the FARC delegation to the talks, said that the parties will continue listening to a diverse number of organisations and personalities of Colombian society, including those who opposed the peace accord in the plebiscite on October 2.

Marquez added that he trusted the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos as having the power to push through the constitutional peace process.

Humberto de la Calle, chief negotiator for the government, stressed that the final agreement signed on September 26, contains the necessary measures and reforms to lay the foundations of peace and end the war.

“According to the joint statement issued on October 7, we have analysed several proposals for adjustments and clarifications to the final agreement from different sectors of Colombian society,” he said.

De la Calle said many of the proposals would be incorporated into the new text.

Last week, the guerrilla and the Government analysed 445 proposals for adjustments and clarifications to the final agreement.

The FARC and the Colombian government concluded four years of negotiations last August with a peace agreement to end the 52-year conflict. However, this was narrowly defeated in an October 2 vote, forcing them to reshape the final peace deal.

The conflict in Colombia has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions since 1964.