HAVANA (AP) — Colombian government delegates at talks with the hemisphere’s largest guerrilla army said Friday that negotiations are at a critical juncture and must yield concrete results, while the rebels said a peace process has never before come so far.
“We have passed from approaching each other to (a time for) agreements,” said Humberto de la Calle, head of the government negotiating team.
He said talks have advanced on the recovery of illegally held terrain and landless rural families gaining access to plots, but gave no details.
Discussions are still centered on agrarian issues, the first item on the talks’ six-point agenda, and the government recognized that the rebels’ stance on victims of the decades-old conflict has evolved.
“We are at a crucial moment of showing whether we will bet on peace for Colombia, transform the present to build a better future,” de la Calle said, reading from a prepared statement.
Chief rebel negotiator Ivan Marquez, whose given name is Luciano Marin Arango, also had positive words on the state of negotiations.
“We are building an agreement that today is nearing five points,” Marquez told reporters. “Never before … had a peace process made so much progress.”
The rebels said Colombia must perform a comprehensive land survey that includes the participation of social and agrarian organizations, displaced people and people who have suffered from the decades-old armed struggle.
“The victims are the victims of the conflict, and in this the state has responsibility through action or omission,” Marquez said.
A joint statement from the two camps said they had made progress on matters including access to and use of land, fallow land, registration of property, and the protection of natural reserves.
They spoke at the close of the third round of talks, which have been under way since last fall in Havana and are to resume March 11.
More Related Stories
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11