Santos demands ‘convincing actions’ before talking peace with FARC

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Monday that the FARC will have to carry out “convincing actions” before the government agrees to peace talks with the rebel group.

In a speech dedicated to assessing his first six months in office, Santos said that “to even think about the possibility for a dialogue we need convincing actions; renouncing terrorism, kidnapping, drug trafficking, extortion and intimidation.”

“We appreciate the release in the coming hours of five Colombians kidnapped by the FARC, a process for which the government has given all necessary guarantees, but we must say that is not enough. We Colombians demand the immediate release of all hostages,” said the president.

The FARC plans to release five of 19 political hostages before Sunday and has called on the government to “take advantage of the opportunity” to initiate peace talks. However, the rebels are accused of holding hundreds of civilians hostage for extortion purposes whose release they have not mentioned.

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