Colombian rebels have rejected a government offer to begin talks on a proposal to swap jailed rebels for hostages held by the guerrilla group.

In a statement Monday, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said negotiations with the government hinge on the rebels' previous demand of a government withdrawal from two southern towns.

The government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe had suggested the prisoner-swap, saying talks could be held at a neutral embassy.  The plan called for 50 jailed rebels to be freed in exchange for at least 60 hostages held by FARC in jungle hideouts.

The FARC's hostages include Colombian politicians and police as well as three American contractors seized by the group last year.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.