During a televised speech on Tuesday afternoon, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, will take place in October. Santos, who has been holding exploratory talks with the FARC since February, said that the talks will take place in Oslo, Norway and Havana, Cuba. Meanwhile, the FARC announced the peace talks in a video message broadcast to international journalists in Havana. The FARC’s leader, Rodrigo Londono, or “Timochenko”, urged a “civilized dialogue” to end the fighting.
Both sides have signed a framework for the peace talks, addressing a conflict that has plagued Colombia since the mid-1960s. The plan is to begin formal peace negotiations in Oslo before moving to Havana. Cuba has mediated similar peace processes in the past, and this time Venezuela and Chile will also act as participants in the discussion.
RCN Radio reported that the agenda for discussion will include agrarian reform, political participation, drug trafficking, reparations for victims and the process for ending the conflict and implementing the peace deal.
The announcement has drawn criticism from former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, who said that holding peace talks without a ceasefire is impossible.