Peace talks between Colombia’s government and the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, will resume on Monday after the guerrillas on Friday called for a brief pause to study a government proposal to seek a referendum to seal an eventual deal.
Talking to press, the government’s chief negotiator, former Vice-President Humberto de la Calle, said that President Juan Manuel Santos had ordered his team to return to Havana where the talks are held.
“The president has instructed us on the decision to return tomorrow to Havana to continue talks on a search for an end to the conflict,” de la Calle said, reading a prepared statement.
“It was carefully noted that the FARC had taken the decision to return on Monday at 8:30 in the morning to the talks table to continue deliberations as normal,” added de la Calle in Bogota.
The FARC suspended talks on Friday following a proposal by the government to change legislation in order to allow a referendum on a potential peace agreement to be held simultaneously with the 2014 presidential or congressional elections.
“The peace delegation of the FARC-EP has decided to pause discussions at the negotiating table, to focus exclusively on the analysis of the scope of the government’s proposal,” said Catatumbo.
“This needs to be done in private within the organization,” added the rebel negotiator.
The FARC did not confirm the resumption of talks on its website.
The rebel group — actively combating the state since 1964 — and the government have been involved in formal talks since November last year.
- Press statement Humberto de la Calle (YouTube)
- Presidente Santos llama a negociadores del Gobierno para evaluar comunicado de las Farc (President’s Office)