The Colombian government and the nation’s main rebel organization have hailed progress following the conclusion of 12 rounds of peace talks in Cuba.
Former Colombian Vice President Humberto de Calle, the country’s chief negotiator, said prior talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had never gotten this far, the BBC reported.
The two sides issued a joint statement saying that they are “building agreement” on FARC participation in politics.
At the same time, President Juan Manuel Santos praised the Colombian armed forces for killing a regional FARC leader, Jesus Antonio Plata Rios – also known as “Zeplin," in western Colombia on Friday.
“Thanks to the joint work of the air force and the army, the head of FARC’s western front, Zeplin, has been neutralized,” Santos wrote on Twitter.
The Colombian president said rebel leaders on the battlefield would be tracked down and killed by the military.
Despite continuing tensions, the Santos government says it is determined to reach a peace agreement with the Marxist-Leninist rebels by the end of the year.
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