Rebel group FARC have urged Colombian congressmen to arrive in Havana in order to outline the details of a proposed referendum on a potential peace accord, local media reported Sunday.
Speaking outside the Palace of Conventions in Havana, rebel negotiator Ricardo Tellez told reporters the rebel group are ready to receive Congress, whilst accusing President Juan Manuel Santos of delaying their arrival.
“We are waiting and I think that it is necessary to speed up the arrival of Congress as much as possible,” said Tellez.
“We are ready to receive them,” added the guerrilla. “The atmosphere at the table is conducive as it always is.”
“Jesus Santrich”, a lead negotiator for the guerrillas, on Friday said that a team of congressmen will fly to Havana on Wednesday in order to outline the details of a proposed referendum on a potential peace accord .
But Santos poured scorn on such claims, stating that Colombian congressmen will only travel to Havana in order to meet with rebel group FARC when the government deems it appropriate.
Santos introduced a bill into Congress last month that would put any agreement reached between the FARC and his government’s negotiators on a ballot referendum in the upcoming national elections next March, where voters would have the ultimate say as to its passage into law.
Congress has yet to vote on the proposal, currently making its way through committee, but the FARC has already come out in strong opposition of a referendum.
In an attempt to argue its case before a vote is held, the FARC extended an invitation last week to congressional leaders, who, after having their visit approved by the Santos government, agreed to participate in a dialogue with the rebel group.
The government and FARC have been involved in peace talks since November in order to seek a negotiated end to the internal conflict.
While an accord has been reached regarding land reform, no agreements have been made on the issue of the FARC’s political participation, drug trafficking, the practicalities of the end of the armed conflict and the rights of the victims.