Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC, wants to finalize the agrarian reforms and move ahead with the peace talks with the government, rebel negotiator “Pablo Catatumbo” on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference before a new round of negotiations in Havana, Cuba, Catatumbo stated the rebels’ desire to make swift progress through the agenda of discussions.
“We fully expect and want to get on to the discussion of the second point of the agenda very soon… 100 small proposals have already been put forward and now we only need two more points to be resolved to finalize the first agreement” he said before the beginning of the ninth cycle of negotiations with the government.
The first point of the discussions, concerning agrarian reform has proved controversial and the negotiations have twice been delayed as the two parties have struggled to come to an agreement over the issue and the FARC called on the government “not to repeat the errors of the past”, declaring the rebel group’s desire to come to an agreement that signifies “radical and structural changes to the mechanisms of restitution, redistribution and solemnization.”
The government’s High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo on Monday expressed his concern over the slow progress of the peace talks, stating that the government is “not interested in dialoguing with the FARC in Havana forever” and suggesting that the talks need to end before 2014 if they are to be successful.
However President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday declared that he was confident that “concrete agreements” over land reform are forthcoming, a sentiment that Catatumbo echoed on Wednesday morning, while declaring that the rebels expect the government delegation to come to the talks “with the same mindset and willingness” as the rebels.
The government’s negotiating team declined to make any press statement before resuming the dialogue.