The chief negotiator of the Colombia government at peace talks with rebel group FARC announced on Wednesday that he would meet with “all parties who wish” to talk about their concerns and criticisms of the negotiations.
Chief negotiator and former Vice President Humberto De La Calle met with academics and students at the University of Caldas on Wednesday, where he announced that he’ll be “socializing with” various political parties and political movements in the coming days to discuss the peace talks.
“We have decided to meet with all political parties that so wish, with the aim not only to inform, but to hear their views on open and transparent discussions, primarily with the intention of hearing, receive recommendations and reviews. Everything we received a very good way with democratic criteria, respect for others’ ideas. When we are criticized, we take it very seriously,” he said.
The government has received fierce criticism over the talks from the conservative opposition in Congress amid concerns the government might be making too many concessions to the leftist FARC. This opposition is supported by virtually half of the population who in polls have expressed to have little faith the current talks will result in a peace agreement.
In order to unnerve the opposition, the government and the FARC earlier released preliminary agreements made previously on rural reforms, political participation and drug trafficking.
However, following the release of these preliminary accords, the opposition led by former President Alvaro Uribe released 68 objections related to these deals.
While the government and the United Nations have defended the secrecy of the talks, claiming confidentiality is necessary to be able to freely negotiate, the FARC have been resistant and published the preliminary accords to counter a “media offensive” by President Juan Manuel Santos.
- ‘Vamos a reunirnos con todos los partidos que lo deseen’: Humberto de la Calle (President’s Office)