Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'iVIOLATED'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad considers fresh offer for T-Mobile

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to school!

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: Thousands pay tribute to Michael Brown

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • French police arrest hungry hedgehog hunters

    Read more

  • Anti-govt protesters briefly seize Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

Americas

FARC rebels offer peace talks

Video by William EDWARDS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-31

Colombia's FARC rebels have offered to hold talks with President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, to find a political solution to the four-decade-old conflict.

REUTERS - The leader of Colombia's largest guerrilla movement has called on President-elect Juan Manuel Santos to hold talks with the leftist rebels and look for a political solution to the four-decade-old conflict.
 
Colombia's rebels, who once ran rampant in major areas of the Andean nation, have been pushed back by a U.S.-backed military offensive launched by President Alvaro Uribe in 2002.
 
"There's the possibility that the country can solve this situation ... through dialogue, conversation, political proposals, diplomacy," Alfonso Cano, head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), said in a 36-minute video posted late on Thursday on the FARC's magazine website.
 
"There must be talks. ... We are disposed to talk until the point we need to fight with arms so there's democracy," the bearded rebel added.
 
Santos, Uribe's political heir who will take over the country's highest office on Aug. 7, has vowed to continue the outgoing president's security policies, which have produced a dramatic drop in violence and an uptick in foreign investment.
 
This was the first video that the rebels have released about Santos since he won the presidential election in June.
 
The video's date could not be independently confirmed. The video, which began with a slide show to the tune of hip-hop music, said that it was taken in July.
 
The Marxist insurgents have fought a succession of Colombian presidents since the 1960s and had a maximum of 18,000 fighters before Uribe's government battered rebels down to around 8,000 combatants, according to government figures.
 
Uribe said on Tuesday before the video was made public that Colombia should not be "tricked" by talk of peace.
 
"When the terrorist snake feels it is being suffocated, then it asks for peace processes, to take oxygen and come back to poison again," the outgoing president said.
 
Uribe's administration set off a firestorm of accusations and counter-accusations when Bogota charged that Venezuela was harboring FARC rebels and guerrillas from another smaller group in Venezuelan territory.
 
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broke off ties last week with Colombia, but has left the door open to improved relations with Santos, who is seen as more pragmatic than Uribe.
 
Caracas and Bogota have long sparred over allegations that Colombian rebels are using Venezuelan territory and over a plan to allow the United States more access to Colombian military bases, in a region beset by conflicting ideologies, rebels and
drug lords.
 

Date created : 2010-07-31

COMMENT(S)