Colombia's Santos Says Holding Talks With FARC Rebels

by
Reuters
Colombia's government is seeking peace with the country's biggest guerrilla group, the FARC, and could consider also holding talks with a second rebel movement, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday.

 Members of the indigenous guard attend a Colombian indigenous assembly in Piendamo, Cauca. They are seeking the departure of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Colombian army and drug traffickers from their territory

Colombia's government is seeking peace with the country's biggest guerrilla group, the FARC, and could consider also holding talks with a second rebel movement, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday.

A Colombian intelligence source had earlier told Reuters the government would soon start talks that could lead to formal negotiations with the FARC. Success would secure Santos a place in history when so many previous presidents have failed.

"We have had exploratory conversations with the FARC to seek an end to the conflict," Santos said in a televised speech from the presidential palace. He added that government troops would continue operations even while talks continued.

In response to a Reuters interview with the head of the country's second-biggest rebel group, he said the National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, could also be involved in the peace talks.

Santos, at the mid-point of his four-year term, has previously said he would only consider talks with the FARC if he was certain the drug-funded group would negotiate in good faith.