The Colombian government’s chief negotiator in peace talks with rebel group FARC said Thursday that negotiations have advanced, but “not enough.”
Former Vice-President Humberto de la Calle, who leads the government commission, told press that “we have advanced and we have made important achievements, but they’re not enough. We have to show Colombians more results to fulfill their expectations.”
At the end of the 14th round of negotiations, De la Calle supported President Juan Manuel Santos‘ claim that Colombia’s are losing patience with the talks.
According to De la Calle, the Colombian government “keeps the faith” the talks will be concluded successfully.
“We believe that we can make construct a way to stop the war and begin the construction of peace,” said the politician.
However, in order to speed up the process supposedly leading to the signing of a peace accord, the FARC’s negotiation team has to stop using media attention to promote their political agenda and stick only to what makes part of the agenda that was agreed at the beginning of the talks.
“One thing is the FARC’s effort to widen and make public their political agenda, which they will be able to promote democratically, without weapons and with guarantees, but another thing is the excess in rhetoric over more varied aspects of public life that has nothing to do with the agenda and the work in Havana,” the Cuban capital where talks are held.
According to De la Calle, the FARC statements “confuses Colombians and harms the credibility of the talks.”
The Colombian government and the country’s largest rebel group have been in formal peace talks since November last year. Since then they have found consensus on the first point on the agenda, a far-stretching agrarian reform. However, no agreement has been reached on the other points on the agenda that include the rebels’ political participation, drug trafficking and the restitution of victims.
With Colombia’s 2014 elections in mind, Santos has explicitly given the negotiating teams until the end of this year to conclude talks.
If the talks prove successful, the FARC will lay down the arms it picked up to combat the Colombian state in 1964.
- Press release (Peace Commissioner’s Office)