Colombia Peace Talks Launched
From Huffington Post
By Vivian Sequera
HURDAL, Norway — Colombia’s first peace talks in a decade were inaugurated Thursday a half world away with a demonstration of just how widely the two sides differ on how to end a vexing, nearly five-decade-old conflict.
The Oslo talks were brief, symbolic and largely perfunctory. Held at a secret venue, they lasted seven hours and were followed by word that substantive talks will begin Nov. 15 in the Cuban capital of Havana. The next round will tackle “comprehensive agrarian development,” though little else appears to have been agreed upon.
The government’s lead negotiator, Humberto de la Calle, sought to set a businesslike, cordial tone in brief remarks at a joint news conference at a lakeside hotel north of Oslo. He said the government seeks “mutual dignified treatment” in the talks and doesn’t expect the sides to see eye-to-eye ideologically.
His opposite number from the Western Hemisphere’s last remaining major insurgency, Ivan Marquez, said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, had come to Oslo “with an olive branch.”
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