Colombian President Alvaro Uribe says he is willing to meet with the nation's largest rebel group to hold peace talks to end the country's 42-year civil war.
Mr. Uribe made the statement Tuesday, in the latest in a series of developments between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC. He also has said recently he would be willing to hold a convention to draw up a new constitution, which is one of the rebels' demands.
Monday, FARC proposed terms for a prisoner swap with the government. The rebel group proposed the government temporarily withdraw troops from an 800 square kilometer area where talks on a prisoner exchange would take place.
FARC also has demanded a guarantee that Bogota will free hundreds of jailed rebels in return for the release of more than 60 prisoners held by the guerrillas.
The prisoners include a former Colombian presidential candidate and three American citizens.
President Uribe instructed his government Monday to negotiate with the rebels on setting up a demilitarized zone.