Colombia peace talks have advanced significantly: President Santos

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos speaks during the commemoration of the 196th anniversary of the Colombian Army, in Bogota, Colombia, August 7, 2015. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez (Reuters)
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BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's peace talks with Marxist rebels have advanced more in recent weeks than they have in previous months, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday, as the country continues efforts to end more than five decades of war. The government has been holding negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, since the end of 2012. "In these last two or three weeks, we have advanced much more than we had advanced in nearly the last six months, in the last year," Santos said in Bogota. FARC leaders said the talks were "moving in the direction of a final accord," during a press conference on Sunday in Havana, where the negotiations are being held. Negotiators have so far reached agreements on land reform, an end to the illegal drugs trade and political participation for ex-rebels. They are now debating the thorny issues of reparations for victims and an end to the conflict. The 51-year-old war has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions. A new round of talks begins on Sept. 11. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Luis Jaime Acosta; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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