Colombian president won’t give up on reaching peace

Colombian president won’t give up on reaching peaceThe ceasefire with FARC rebels will end on 31 October, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said, according to BBC.

Negotiators have resumed talks in Cuba to try to resurrect a peace deal following its rejection in Sunday's referendum.

"I hope we can move forward to realise the necessary agreement to find a solution to this conflict," Santos said in a televised address.

All sides in Colombia want an end to more than 50 years of fighting.

However opponents of the government insist on a renegotiation of part of the peace deal. Led by the former President, Alvaro Uribe, they say they do not want the rebels to be guaranteed seats in Congress, or their leaders offered immunity from prison.

President Santos is due to meet with Uribe and Andres Pastrana, another former president.

After Colombians voted “no” in a slim majority on a referendum, both President Santos and FARC leader Timochenko have insisted they will not give up.

In a video message from Cuba, Timochenko said "peace had come to stay". He said the rebels would continue to observe the bilateral ceasefire they had signed with the government and abide by what they had agreed with the Colombian government.

"The warmongering of those who want to sabotage this peace with dignity will never be stronger than the feelings of harmony, inclusion and social justice," he added.

Earlier he had said that the rebels were prepared to "fix" the deal and that the result of Sunday's vote "does not mean the battle for peace is lost".
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