The pullout from peace talks by Colombia’s FARC rebels has provoked a sharp reaction from the Colombian authorities.
It is the first interruption in the talks, which began in Cuba in November. The FARC delegation wants to consult with its leadership on a Colombian government proposal to put any agreed peace terms to a referendum.
“The guerrillas in Havana said, ‘We are leaving the table in order to study this proposal, this procedure.’ It’s perfectly legitimate and valid that they want to study it, but time is passing and the patience of the Colombian people has its limits,” said President Juan Manuel Santos.
As if to underline this the Colombian delegation has also returned home, and President Santos says it will only return “when appropriate”.
Santos has staked his political legacy on ending five decades of conflict, but the talks have dragged on and there have been signs recently that the FARC may be hitting the buffers of what they deem acceptable terms.