Representatives of Colombia’s largest rebel group, FARC and the Colombian government began Monday a new round of peace talks in the Cuban capital of Havana to bring an end the country’s half-a-century armed conflict.
Humberto de la Calle, the chief government negotiator, said his delegation had “all the will to advance” but that the process “could not be prolonged indefinitely in time.”
The president expects us to sit down in these conversations, now that we have inaugurated the conversations of the New Year, behind the idea of a new rhythm. We need more rhythm [and I] want this message to reach the public opinion and also FARC.”
Government representatives have set November 2013 as a deadline for the peace negotiations, while it was hoped a deal could be reached on agrarian reform before Easter.
The FARC negotiators have expressed skepticism about the deadline.
“We cannot allow that the electoral hurry of the governation goes above the interests of all the Colombians, putting a deadline is not only unrealistic, it is a criminal behavior.”
President Santos and the government negotiation group reunited early on Monday in Bogota, in order to outline the next steps in the peace negotiations, reported radio station Caracol.