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Colombia peace talks to resume

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iol nwes pic Cuba Colombia Peace Talks~1

AP

Humberto de la Calle, head of Colombia's government negotiation team, right, and Sergio Jaramillo arrive at the close of a round of peace talks with members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate)

Havana - Colombia's government and the FARC rebel group will resume peace talks on Tuesday, officials said, even though the country's presidential elections has placed their future in doubt.

A source in the FARC delegation told AFP the talks would continue for about two days, instead of the 11 days that past rounds have typically lasted.

It would be their first session since Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos came in second to a fierce opponent of the peace talks, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, in the first round of presidential elections May 25.

Polls show the two neck-and-neck as they head toward a June 15

runoff.

Zuluaga has placed tough pre-conditions for continuing peace talks if he is elected: a permanent cease-fire by the FARC and jail time for its leaders.

Santos, who has made the bid to end Latin America's longest insurgency the centerpiece of his presidency, has warned that Zuluaga's demands are non-starters that would prolong the 50-year-old conflict.

The Havana talks began in November 2012 and have led to partial agreements on terms for the FARC's political reintegration, rural development and drug trafficking.

But at least three major issues remain unresolved: the surrender of weapons, compensation for victims of the conflict, and whether a peace agreement would be ratified by a national referendum or some other means.

Sapa-AFP


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