Colombia's best-known writer has met with the leader of Colombia's second-largest rebel group, ahead of peace talks with the government set to open Friday in Cuba.

Nobel laureate writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez invited National Liberation Army chief Antonio Garcia to his Havana home for talks Thursday.  Both men will take part in the peace discussions, along with Colombian government officials.

Mr. Garcia Marquez told Bogota's El Tiempo newspaper that he is looking forward to the start of new talks.  Mr. Garcia, the rebel leader, said Wednesday that efforts will be made to overcome the many obstacles between the rebels and Caracas.

Colombia's high commissioner for peace, Luis Carlos Restrepo, heads the government delegation.  Envoys from Norway, Spain and Switzerland will monitor the talks, which are expected to last about 10 days.

The ELN and the larger leftist rebel group, the FARC, have been battling to topple the government during four decades of civil war.  Earlier peace talks broke down in 2002.
Some information for this report provided by AFP.