Colombian government offers to negotiate with rebels at Apostolic Nunciature

.- The Vice President of the Bishops Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Augusto Castro, called on the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) to consider the government’s proposal to hold negotiations at the Apostolic Nunciature.

Archbishop Castro heads the Church commission which has been in contact with the rebels in order to help bring about an agreement that will secure the release of hostages.

Speaking on Radio Caracol, the Archbishop said, “This proposal is in response to the need to find solutions at a time in which we were all worried we had reached a dead-end.”

Colombia’s president, Alvaro Uribe, proposed this weekend the possibility of a meeting between the government’s chief negotiator for peace, Luis Carlos Restrepo, and representatives of FARC at the Apostolic Nunciature for a maximum period of five days in order to finalize a humanitarian agreement.

The government wants the FARC to free policemen and soldiers that have been kidnapped, as well as that of ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three US advisors.  The FARC wants the government to release 50 rebel soldiers from prison.


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