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Biden Praises Colombian Peace Talks with FARC

Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaks during a joint press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota, Colombia May 27, 2013
Vice President Joe Biden, right, speaks during a joint press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota, Colombia May 27, 2013
VOA News
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is praising developments in peace negotiations between Colombia's government and FARC rebels.

Biden made the comments during a visit Monday to Bogota, Colombia, in which he met with President Juan Manuel Santos. He said the United States supports President Santos' efforts to reach a historic peace with the rebels.

"Just as we supported Colombian leaders in the battlefield we fully support you at the negotiating table, Mr. President," he said. "We understand that some real progress appears to have been made yesterday on the agrarian front. We applaud every advance, every advance that get Colombians closer to the peace they so richly deserve and we look forward to the day when Colombia can fully enjoy a genuine peace dividend."

Columbia's government and FARC rebels announced Sunday that they reached an agreement on land reform, after more than six months of peace talks taking place in Cuba. Land reform is one of the most contentious issues in the talks on ending five decades of conflict.

President Santos said he hopes negotiators will be able to reach a larger deal.

"If we can successfully finalize the five points that are in this accord it would be a big finish to something that started almost 13 years ago," Santos said.

The FARC has been fighting the Colombian government since the 1960s. It is the longest-running insurgency in Latin America.

Biden's trip to Latin American and the Caribbean also will take him to Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil.

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