Colombian government, FARC launch peace talks
October 19, 2012, 12:10 am TWN
OSLO--Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels formally launched peace talks in Norway on Thursday in a process aimed at ending almost five decades of conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Oslo, and later Havana, is hosting the first direct talks between the two sides in 10 years.
The government and the rebels officially launched the negotiations in a hotel in Hurdal, a small town north of Oslo, with the heads of the delegations, Humberto de la Calle for Bogota and Ivan Marquez for the rebels, appearing on the same podium but without shaking hands.
The two sides had previously met at a secret location on Wednesday and on Thursday morning to discuss technical and logistical issues and a Colombian official told AFP the meetings had been "respectful and cordial."