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Colombia, FARC forge new peace pact

By Ians

Havana, Nov 13 The Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla group have reached a new peace deal that includes contributions from sectors opposed to the original treaty.


"Attending to the outcry of Colombians desiring peace and reconciliation, we have reached a new final accord," Efe news agency cite a statement by the two sides that was read in Havana, the seat of peace talks for the last four years.

The new document was signed by the chief negotiator for the government, Humberto de la Calle, and Ivan Marquez for the FARC, who have headed nine days of intensive meetings in the Cuban capital to reach a new agreement in order to "obtain a stable, lasting peace".

The latest deal includes "changes, detailed explanations and contributions from the most diverse sectors of society, which were reviewed one by one," said the statement read by the ambassadors of the accord's guarantee nations, Cuba and Norway.

"Building a stable, lasting peace is the goal of this new agreement and should be the common commitment of all Colombians, a commitment that will help overcome polarisation and guarantee the acceptance of all political and social convictions," the statement said.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday called an urgent meeting with predecessor Alvaro Uribe, who was the staunchest opponent of the earlier peace deal.

The earlier deal signed last September was hailed internationally and led to Santos being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month.

The original treaty, which was aimed at bringing an end to Colombia's decades-old armed conflict was rejected by Colombians in a referendum on October 2 as they criticized it for being too lenient on the guerrillas.


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