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World

Colombia Leader Says Peace Talks to Start With Rebel Group

Rebels belonging to the National Liberation Army have agreed to free a captive politician

Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia, (R), receives the global statesman award by German Klaus Schwab, (L), founder and president of the World Economic Forum, in the Congress Hall at the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, January 18, 2017, photo: Keystone/Gian Ehrenzeller
11 months ago

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says rebels belonging to the National Liberation Army (ELN) have agreed to free a captive politician, clearing the way for formal peace talks with the country’s second-largest rebel group to begin next month.

Santos made the announcement from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He said details of the agreement would be announced by representatives of the government and rebels at a press conference later Wednesday in Quito, Ecuador.

The government and the ELN have been holding exploratory peace talks for more than three years. Almost a year ago, the government announced formal negotiations would begin, but the start of talks has been held up by the rebels’ refusal to meet Santos’ demand they renounce kidnapping and free the politician.

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