Humberto de la Calle (Photo: President's Office)

The Colombian government and rebel group FARC released a joint statement early Thursday morning announcing that they would extend the peace talks throughout the weekend to try an finalize an agreement on the agenda item currently being discussed: political participation.

Nearly one year after the start of peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government, the delegations have only agreed upon one of six points on the agenda – land reform – and are currently in their 16th round of discussions.

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The joint statement said that the two parties would take two extra days to see if they can close a deal on political participation.

“In order to advance in the discussion and construction of agreements on the second item of the Agenda, [we] have agreed to extend this round of conversations to work without break from today until Monday November 4,” said the statement.

While it is still unclear whether or not these events will lead to a final agreement on one of the more controversial points of the talks, the statement does suggest that both parties are making significant progress on the complex issue of political participation. Initially, the FARC announced 99 new “minimum” proposals under the heading of political participation, which angered the government delegation, as they were not part of the initial agenda.

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This statement means that the different delegations will spend Halloween sifting through the proposals in Havana, Cuba, where the peace talks have been taking place since November 18, 2012.


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