Colombia and FARC rebels begin fresh talks in Cuba

Colombia and FARC rebels begin fresh talks in Cuba
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A new round of peace talks is underway in Cuba between the Colombian government and Marxist FARC rebels.

After a month-long break in the process, the two sides are trying to reach a deal on the key issue of rural development and land reform.

But the rebels’ top negotiator, Ivan Marquez, made clear his team was there to address the root of the conflict – Colombia’s long history of social inequality.

“We’re here to find a political solution based on social justice,” he said.

The concentration of land ownership in the hands of the few has also been key to the 50-year-old bloody conflict. The rebels have proposed giving millions of hectares of land to the poor.

However the lead government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said this was not the time or place to discuss the issues FARC have raised: “We are clear about our terms of foreign investment and private property,” he said.

Among the topics still ahead on the talks’ five-point agenda are the difficult issues of the political and legal status of rebels, ending the conflict and the drug trafficking that has helped fund rebel activities for years.

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