Norway to host Colombia press conference

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16:17 CEST+02:00
Representatives of the Colombian government and Marxist rebel group FARC will hold a joint press conference on October 17th on the resumption of peace talks, the Norwegian government said on Thursday.

"The two parties have announced that they wish to organize a press conference on October 17th in Oslo," Veslemøy Lothe Salvesen, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian foreign ministry, told AFP.

No starting date or duration of the talks was provided.
"As for what may happen on the day before the press conference, or the day after, is for the parties to say," Salvesen said.

The fourth official attempt in 30 years to solve the conflict through negotiations is to be launched in Oslo and will then continue in Havana.

The Norwegian government has said little on the issue, providing details in dribs and drabs and refusing to say where the negotiations would take place.

Rodrigo Granda, who has been dubbed the de-facto foreign minister for FARC, or Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, requested "total guarantees" that no members of the delegation would be arrested under pre-existing warrants, in an interview with AFP on Tuesday.

"Norway is very much aware of its obligations under international law," Salvesen said.

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"But we believe that these obligations are consistent with the role that Norway has accepted to assume in the Colombian peace negotiations," she added, refusing to comment specifically on Granda's request.

Colombia's main guerrilla movement was founded in 1964 in the wake of an uprising and still has around 9,000 fighters, mostly in rural areas.

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