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Colombia gov't, FARC eye rebels' eventual political participation

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Havana, Aug 10 (EFE).- The peace delegations of the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, announced here Saturday that the "construction of agreements" has begun for the political participation of the guerrilla group once peace is achieved, a subject that is the second point on the general negotiating agenda.

"We never got this far," the head of the Colombian government's negotiating team, former Vice President Humberto de la Calle, told the press at the closing of the 22nd round of talks.

The two sides issued a joint communique Saturday saying they have begun the "construction of agreements on the rights and guarantees for political opposition in general, and in particular for the new movements that will arise after the signing of the Final Accord."

De la Calle recalled that all these subjects have "a direct relation to the end of the conflict," but warned that this is not just about giving "guarantees" to the guerrilla group.

"We discussed political participation" with the FARC "because we expect that, after the signing of the accord, they will lay down their arms, they will demobilize and will integrate into the democracy," he said.

The former Colombian vice president noted that the delegations had already reached an accord on agrarian reform, the first point on the dialogue agenda begun last November.

Both sides said they hope to continue constructing agreements on these subjects in the next round of talks, which are scheduled to begin in Havana on Aug. 19.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130810/colombia-govt-farc-eye-rebels-eventual-political-participation