Colombia’s government chief negotiator said Sunday that peace talks with rebel group FARC are at a “time for decision making” as the rebels and government formally begin a 14th round of talks.
“We will resume the talks with an in-depth boost, especially regarding critical issues. I believe the time for decision making has come,” said the head of Colombia’s negotiation tam, Humberto de la Calle.
“We expect that the moment will come to put an end” to the armed conflict in which the FARC and state have been involved in since 1964.
De la Calle and members of his team met with President Juan Manuel Santos in the Caribbean city of Cartagena and will continue talks with the FARC on Monday morning in Cuba to continue negotiations on the second point on the previously agreed agenda; the rebels’ political participation.
The two negotiation teams have so far only found agreement on an agrarian reform, the first point of the agenda, and are currently negotiating conditions for the FARC to become a political movement.
Once agreement is found on this point, the government and rebels will negotiate a ceasefire — something the government has so far refused to do as it fears the rebels will use diminished military pressure to reorganize the troops that have been decimated in the first 10 years of the century amid a US-backed military offensive.
If successful, the FARC will end its almost half-a-century armed conflict with the state.