Colombian government, FARC to resume peace talks Jan 26

Bogota : Colombian government representatives and members of the lefist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla rebels will begin their next round of peace negotiations Jan 26.

The resumption of talks will be preceded by a technical preparatory meeting that begins Jan 18 and could last three to four days, government sources said Sunday.

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A similar meeting held in December was seen as the first step towards resuming negotiations that were suspended after the guerrillas captured a Colombian general in November.

In case the technical meeting goes on for more days than scheduled, the date for resumption of talks could also be postponed, the sources added.

The negotiating team will return to Havana, where the peace talks are being held, with instructions to hasten the dialogue in order to end the armed conflict once and for all and as quickly as possible, President Juan Manuel Santos had said last week.

The government and the FARC have already reached agreements on three of the five points on the negotiating table.

Agreements have been reached on political participation, land, and drugs and illegal cultivation, while the process of bringing an end to the conflict and negotiations regarding the victims continue to remain on the agenda.

Currently, there is an indefinite and unilateral ceasefire on the part of the rebels which started Dec 20, and they have called on the government to suspend the offensive against them.