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Colombian peace talks advancing at "good pace": FARC

English.news.cn   2012-11-21 06:12:43            

HAVANA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Peace talks between the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government are progressing at a "good pace" and are on track, a FARC spokesman said Tuesday in Havana, Cuba, where the negotiations are being held.

"We are advancing at a good pace, on a good track," rebel commander Jesus Santrich said as the second day of negotiations got underway.

Santrich added the participants were "trying to ensure the full participation of the public in this peace-building process," but did not elaborate.

The closed-door negotiations at Cuba's main convention complex aim to bring an end to five decades of fighting between the leftist insurgents and Colombia's armed forces.

The government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos selected former Vice President Humberto de la Calle to head its negotiating team, while the FARC delegation is headed by the group 's second in command, Ivan Marquez.

On Monday, the rebels announced a unilateral ceasefire that went into effect Tuesday and will last until Jan. 20.

Hours later, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon reiterated the government's position against a truce, saying military troops will continue their operations against Colombia's largest armed rebel group, which counts some 9,200 members.

The government said it was committed to ending the conflict, but a ceasfire would have to be the end result of successful peace talks.

More than 200,000 Colombians have died from the FARC's nearly 50 years of armed struggle.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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