Chile, others to aid Colombian peace talks

Aug. 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM
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BOGOTA, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Chile, Norway and Venezuela have agreed to assist in peace talks between the government of Colombia and rebel guerillas, set to begin in Norway, officials say.

Details of the agreement to begin discussions were released Thursday, Merco Press reported.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known by the Spanish acronym FARC, and the government have been fighting since 1964.

The four-page document, published on the Web site of RCN Radio, sets out several agenda items to be considered, including "integral agrarian development policy," "political participation," "end of the conflict," "solution to the problem of illicit drugs" and "victims."

The talks will be formally launched in Oslo and then moved to Havana, which will be the permanent site of the negotiations.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed the talks last Monday after various media organizations reported an agreement had been reached to end the conflict.

The agreement said talks will begin a month after the agreement is formally announced.

Cuba and Norway will be involved in the talks as "guarantors," while Venezuela will act as a "logistics facilitator and accompanist."

The agreement states that talks were initiated "with the mutual decision of putting an end to the conflict as an essential condition for the constitution of stable and lasting peace; [and] attending the cry of the population for peace."

The talks began with "preparatory" contacts Feb. 23 in Havana, the document revealed.

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