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Colombian Rebel Hopeful About Peace Talks


A commander of Colombia's second-largest leftist rebel group has voiced optimism that new efforts to reach peace with the government will be more fruitful than past failed attempts.

Antonio Garcia of the National Liberation Army made the remark Wednesday as the two sides prepare for talks on ending the ELN's decades-old war against the government. He acknowledged many obstacles exist but that efforts would be made to overcome them.

Facilitators from Norway, Spain and Switzerland are monitoring the talks, which begin this week in Cuba. Colombia's high commissioner for peace, Luis Carlos Restrepo, is heading his government's delegation.

The talks are expected to last about 10 days and will be the current Colombian administration's first formal negotiations with insurgents. The last talks hosted by Cuba broke down in 2002.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.