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Colombian rebels reject talks deadline

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Colombian rebels reject talks deadline


Peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – FARC have run into trouble.

The left wing rebel group has rejected a deadline set by the country’s president, Juan Manuel Santos to end the five-decade long conflict.

The president said the talks should reach a conclusion by November 2013. Marco Leon Calarca, a top FARC negotiator explained the groups rejection of the date.

“We abide by what we agreed on. There are no months there. It says there we will take the necessary time. If we take three months, excellent; if we take three years, excellent. We don’t bet on deadlines because we think they have that problem. We aren’t concerned with elections; that’s not our problem,” he said.

The president is hoping a decade of U.S – backed military action against the left-wing rebels will lead to a peace deal. The alleged success of that action has been rejected by Marco Leon Calarca who says Bogota has exaggerated the effect of it.

The 9,000 strong group, which the US and the EU consider a terrorist group believes it can still inflict enough damage on the government to win concessions. At the heart of the negotiations is the issue of land reform.

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