Delegates from the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC-EP, are scheduled to meet on Saturday in Havana, Cuba, for the first time since the peace deal was rejected in the hope of negotiating a new agreement.
The lead negotiator of the Colombian government Humberto de la Calle announced Friday, before traveling to Cuba, that he will seek to include some of the proposals made by the opposition and other critics of the previous peace agreement.
During a press conference, De la Calle said the goal of the new talks is to "reach a new agreement that opens the consolidation phase of stable and lasting peace."
"We have examined the various positions with a genuine desire to find the best solutions," said de la Calle. "We have also considered in depth the reasons that have been displayed in multiple encounters with different spokesmen, ensuring we are doing a careful exercise, with an open mind, with respect, great respect, to all initiatives "
The chief negotiator of the government said the measures "to make adjustments and clarifications" to the text approved with the FARC-EP, which was signed on Sept. 26, are necessary.
Meanwhile, the chief negotiator of the FARC-EP, Ivan Marquez, said from Havana that the purpose of the meeting is to strengthen the final agreement that was discussed in Havana and took four years to negotiate
The final text was rejected in a plebiscite three weeks ago by a narrow margin of half a percentage point amid a low voter turnout of under 40 percent. The "No" campaign won with 50.21 percent to 49.78 percent for the "Yes" vote. The difference was just half a percentage point against the peace accords. Only 13 million of the 35 million eligible voters made it to the polls.
Still, hundreds of thousands of Colombians took to the streets last week to demand the peace accords be respected after President Manuel Santos met with several far-right opposition members to discuss changes to the peace deal, such as former president Alvaro Uribe who lead the "No" campaign.