- Title: COLOMBIA-REBELS FARC embaces move by Colombia's Santos to halt air raids
- Date: 28th July 2015
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (JULY 28, 2015) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF ARRIVAL OF DELEGATION OF REVOLUTIONARY ARMED FORCES OF COLOMBIA (FARC) TO PEACE TALKS GENERAL OF FARC GUERRILLA MEMBER ANTONIO LOZADA AT PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FARC GUERRILLA MEMBER, ANTONIO LOZADA, SAYING: "The decision of President (Juan Manuel Santos) is a measure that contributes to generate a favourable climate of trust to advance the discussion of pending issues of the Havana Accords." CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FARC GUERRILLA MEMBER, ANTONIO LOZADA, SAYING: "We want to call attention to the recent events that have taken place in the Cauca and Narino departments where the advance of land operations against the insurgent positions have put the FARC's unilateral peace accords at risk." SIGN THAT SAYS PEACE TALKS, HAVANA, CUBA COLOMBIAN GOVERNMENT DELEGATION ARRIVES FOR TALKS
- Embargoed: 12th August 2015 13:00
- Location: Cuba
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA12X97UTKU8TOQFBOQ5Z26IBM3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) embraced on Tuesday (July 28) the decision by Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos to order a halt on air raids against FARC rebel camps but said continued military advances can still undermine the peace talks.
The government is seeking to cool hostilities with the Marxist group while the two sides hammer out a peace accord to end five decades of war.
Santos' decision on Saturday came just days after a unilateral ceasefire by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) went into effect, providing a breakthrough in talks threatened by a recent escalation of battlefield violence.
"This will mean fewer deaths, less suffering and fewer victims," Santos said in the coastal city of Cartagena.
On Tuesday, guerrilla member Antonio Lozada lauded Santos's move.
"The decision of President (Juan Manuel Santos) is a measure that contributes to generate a favourable climate of trust to advance the discussion of pending issues of the Havana Accords," he said from Havana.
The two sides have been engaged in peace talks in Cuba for 2-1/2 years in an attempt to end Latin America's longest war, which has killed some 220,000 people and displaced millions over 50 years.
However, the negotiations have been overshadowed by an increase in fighting this year.
In March, Santos suspended bomb attacks against the FARC but resumed them a month later after the rebels broke their ceasefire and killed 10 soldiers.
Continued actions by Bogota could further derail progress, Lozada said.
"We want to call attention to the recent events that have taken place in the Cauca and Narino departments where the advance of land operations against the insurgent positions have put the FARC's unilateral peace accords at risk," he said.
Santos has said he would like to reach a peace agreement in 2015, but the five-point agenda remains complicated.
The FARC's latest unilateral ceasefire - its sixth - began on Monday and runs for a month. Santos has said he will analyse progress in four months to decide if talks will continue.
The FARC has long advocated a bilateral ceasefire, which the government has rejected saying the group has used previous attempts at such truces to rearm.
Santos has emphasised that the military's de-escalation of the conflict is not tantamount to a government ceasefire, and that the armed forces would respond based on FARC actions.
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