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Colombia's FARC Rebels Renew Call for Ceasefire

Havana, December 4 (RHC) -- The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels renewed their call for a ceasefire on Tuesday amid peace talks with the government.

"We would really like to achieve a bilateral ceasefire", Iván Márquez, chief negotiator and one of the leaders in the FARC, told reporters before the new round of talks began at the Havana Convention Center. "We could begin these talks in a much more positive atmosphere".

The peace talks started in November 2012 to negotiate an end to the five-decade fighting between the leftist rebels and the Colombian troops. Bogota has rejected a rebel-proposed ceasefire, saying it wanted to maintain military pressure on the rebels to facilitate negotiations.

The Colombian government also said earlier that previous attempts to cease fire during peace talks have allowed the rebels to launch new offensives.

The FARC, founded in the early 1960s by poor landless farmers, is fighting for better conditions in rural Colombia.

Six key issues are being discussed at the latest talks, including agrarian reform and the rebels' political participation, drug trafficking, reparations for the victims, disarmament of the rebels, and the implementation of a peace deal.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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