Colombia's ELN rebels says willing to declare ceasefire

Colombia's rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) said that it is willing to declare a ceasefire and asked for more commitment to peace from the international community in this South American country.

Colombia's ELN rebels says willing to declare ceasefire
Colombia's rebel National Liberation Army (ELN) said that it is willing to declare a ceasefire and asked for more commitment to peace from the international community in this South American country.

The sixth round of talks in Cuba with Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe has shown few advances, said ELN spokesman Pablo Beltran.

"We are expecting to agree on a bilateral ceasefire but we need international organizations to show confidence. We want to reach an agreement as soon as possible but it must be mutual," said Beltran.

Beltran also said the ELN is willing to free hostages as long as imprisoned leftist leaders are also freed.

The ELN set free some 60 hostages following a peace agreement during former President Andres Pastrana's administration, but the government disavowed the accord some days afterwards, said Beltran. "We will not fall into this kind of trap twice," he said.

The ELN is willing to acknowledge its crimes and responsibility in an eventual peace process to end the country's 40-year-long internal struggle, said Beltran.

The 4,500-troop ELN is Colombia's second-largest guerrilla group after Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), with 31,000 troops.

The ELN has held intermittent peace talks with the government since Dec. 2005 in Havana, Cuba. The most recent talks, which began three months ago, ended in disagreements on July 25. The two sides have agreed to resume the talks in August.

Agencies
Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2007, 19:28
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