Colombian peace talks to begin in Cuba

Colombia's government and Marxist Farc rebels will move to Cuba in mid-November to start substantive peace talks after nearly five decades of war, according to a joint declaration in Norway yesterday.

The talks are the latest in a long history of attempts to end the conflict which has left tens of thousands dead since the establishment of Farc in 1964.

Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, is hoping that a decade of US-backed blows against Farc has forced the group to the point where it will seriously seek to end the war.

Both sides appeared at a table separated by representatives of Cuba and Norway - the first time the rebels and government have met publicly since failed negotiations from 1999 to 2002.

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