Representatives of Colombia’s government and largest rebel group FARC will officially launch the peace talks in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on October 17, a Norwegian government spokeswoman says.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Veslemoy Lothe Salvesen told Colombia Reports that “the two parties will officially launch the peace talks on October 17 in Oslo.”
The FARC said Monday that peace talks with the government would begin on October 15. However, Lothe Salvesen confirmed on Thursday that a joint press conference on the 17th will launch the peace process, although she said it had not been decided how long the negotiations will stay in Norway before moving to Cuba’s capital Havana.
“It is not decided how long the negotiations will be here. The negotiators have asked Norway to act as a facilitator in the peace talks. We will take care of logistics and we will be present at the talks. If both sides request for us to be involved, then we will be involved,” said the Norwegian spokesperson.
The Colombian government and rebel representatives are expected to travel to Norway the coming to weeks to begin formal peace talks, although the exact date is not yet confirmed. The representatives have secretly been holding preliminary negotiations in Cuba since February.
Responding to rumors that the two parties have already reached a peace agreement and will use the October press conference as an opportunity to announce peace, Lothe Salvesen said no comment would be made on the content of the press conference.
Both parties have expressed the desire to negotiate an end Colombia’s almost 50-year-old armed conflict within months.