Leftist Colombian rebels will free a soldier held hostage for more than 11 years as they look for ways to start peace talks with the government, the guerrillas said in a statement on Thursday.
The move is the latest by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, aimed at jump-starting negotiations with President Alvaro Uribe.
But the two sides remain far apart on conditions for talking.
The 45-year-old FARC said it will free Pablo Moncayo, a soldier captured in late 1997. Moncayo's father, Gustavo, has led a campaign for the release of kidnap victims, draping himself in chains and walking throughout Colombia to publicize the plight if victims.
"We announce our decision to unilaterally free Pablo Moncayo and personally turn him over" to his father and left-wing Senator Piedad Cordoba, who has brokered hostage handovers in the past.
The rebels' statement said both sides would have to agree to a ceasefire and that negotiations must begin with the acknowledgment that the state is at fault for Colombia's decades-old guerrilla war.
"Bilateralism is the indispensable rule ... in order to build confidence and create a solid base for advancement," the FARC statement said.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Nisan 2009, 12:31