Colombia's president offers to negotiate with FARC

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said that he is willing to create a zone to meet with Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) if the guerrillas offer to free hostages.

Colombia's president offers to negotiate with FARC
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said that he is willing to create a zone to meet with Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) if the guerrillas offer to free hostages.

Uribe made the comments at Bogota's Plaza de Bolivar after meeting with the father of a hostage who is demanding the signing of a humanitarian exchange with FARC.

"If FARC frees hostages, the government is willing to create an encounter zone to sign a peace treaty in 90 days," Uribe said after explaining that he will release guerrilla members that do not have cases pending in foreign countries.

Uribe talked for two hours with police hostage Pablo Moncayo's father Gustavo, who has established a permanent protest on the Plaza de Bolivar demanding that the government and FARC exchange hostages for rebel prisoners.

Uribe has offered to send Gustavo to Cuba to meet with rebel leader Rodrigo Granda, who is known as FARC's foreign minister. Granda was released following a petition by France.

Amid boos and jeers from Colombian citizens crowded on the Plaza de Bolivar, Uribe said the government will not accept FARC's demands to demilitarize certain Colombian regions.

"I hope that when you call me a paramilitary you do not do it because you want a guerilla victory," Uribe told thousands of protesters supporting Moncayo's cause.

Uribe authorized Spain, France and Switzerland, as well as Church and State mediators to help his government meet with FARC, although Uribe says FARC's inflexibility over conditions for meetings is to blame for the lack of progress.

Agencies
Last Mod: 03 Ağustos 2007, 15:52
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