HAVANA – Negotiators from the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas said Friday in Havana they would continue to listen to proposals from different organizations and individuals with a view to reaching a revised peace agreement.
“Swiftly and in pursuit of a quick result, we’ll continue to listen to a significant number and diverse range of organizations and individuals from (different spheres) of national life ... including those who abstained from voting” in the Oct. 2 referendum on the peace deal, they said in a statement.
It marked the first time the negotiators had issued a joint statement since restarting peace talks last Saturday in Havana in search of a new definitive agreement acceptable to a majority of Colombians.
“The proposals are being discussed with the utmost care. Many of them have been incorporated into the texts of a new agreement,” the two sides said in the statement, which was read by the chief negotiators from the government, Humberto de la Calle, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Ivan Marquez.
Both delegations said they had analyzed the proposals for adjusting the accord signed late last month, although they insisted the agreement that was narrowly rejected by voters in the plebiscite already has the necessary elements to lay the foundations for peace and guarantee an end to the decades-old armed conflict.
They said the negotiating teams would resume their talks in the Cuban capital on Nov. 3.
On Sept. 26, the government and the FARC signed a peace agreement that was the fruit of nearly four years of talks in Havana aimed at ending Latin America’s longest-running armed conflict.
But after the “no” vote prevailed by a slim margin in an Oct. 2 national referendum on the peace deal, the president needs to seek a consensus through talks with former President Alvaro Uribe and the other main critics of the accord.
Santos said Friday he had ordered the government’s negotiators to return home from Havana so they can take part in a meeting Saturday with peace-deal opponents and inform him of the progress made in their post-referendum talks with the FARC.