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Iran Press TV

Colombia, FARC rebels miss deadline for peace deal

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:28AM

The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have missed a deadline for reaching a peace deal to end the decades-long conflict in the South American country.

The government and FARC rebels had set a deadline of March 23 to reach a comprehensive deal to wrap the three-year-old talks in the Cuban capital of Havana.

Humberto de la Calle, the head of the Colombian delegation in the peace talks with FARC, said there are still some differences with the FARC on significant issues.

"We are going to make every effort to reach a final agreement. But this requires quick decisions," Calle said at a news conference on Wednesday, adding talks could not be indefinite.

FARC's chief negotiator Ivan Marquez expressed optimism about reaching a final accord.

"We are acting with the idea of building a good agreement, to make 2016 the year of peace, the year of the end of war in Colombia," he said.

Peace talks due to resume on April 4

Bogota and FARC have been at war since the guerrilla movement rose to prominence in 1964. So far, more than 200,000 people have been killed in clashes between the two sides and millions of others have been displaced.

The two sides have been holding peace talks, hosted by Havana and the negotiations have made several key advances in recent months.

Several main areas of disagreement have been discussed in the talks, and deals have been reached on transitional justice, land reform, political participation for former rebels, putting an end to drug trafficking, removing the land mines and efforts to find missing persons.

The issue of disarmament and a mechanism for ratifying the final accord are still under discussion.

A United Nations mission will monitor the group's disarmament once a peace deal is inked.

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