Colombia Peace Talks Set For October

By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz

Highlights

A "road map" has been signed between the government and the FARC

The talks will begin in Oslo in October, and then move to Havana

The president says the outlook is good

(CNN) -- Peace talks to negotiate an end to Latin America's oldest insurgency will begin in October in Oslo, Norway, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, have signed a framework for the talks, Santos said in a televised address Tuesday.

The framework is a "road map" that aims to resolve a conflict that has seen previous negotiations backfire on the government.

The outcome of these talks will "fall on my shoulders, and no one else," Santos said.

The Colombian government confirmed last month that "exploratory" talks had taken place between the rebels and the government. Santos' announcement revealed the outcome of those talks.

Having concluded the preliminary talks, the second stage will be the formal peace talks, which will begin in Oslo, and then move to Havana, Cuba.

Critics, including former President Alvaro Uribe, say it is impossible to hold peace talks without a unilateral ceasefire by the guerrillas.

Colombia has learned from its past mistakes, Santos said, and military operations will continue against the FARC during the peace talks.

One of the most famous failures of a previous government was the granting of a huge demilitarized zone for the guerrillas, which they abused by using it strengthen themselves military and politically. This time around, Colombia will not cede one inch of territory, Santos said.

Peace is possible because of Colombia's economic growth and engagement with the world, the president explained. Millions of Colombians have been lifted from poverty and using violent means to make political gains is an idea that has met its end, he said.

This, together with the military successes Colombia has scored against the FARC, make it a good time for negotiations, Santos said.

"We do not fight for the sake of fighting. We fight to achieve peace," he declared.

The president said it will not be an open-ended peace process, and progress will be reviewed monthly.

The FARC has complied with everything it has promised so far, Santos said, and if the group continues to negotiate with the same seriousness, the outlook for the talks is good.


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