Colombian peace delegation holds talks in Switzerland

A Colombian delegation, representing both sides in the country's decades-old civil war, has arrived in Switzerland. It is made up of government officials and leaders of the FARC guerrilla movement, including negotiator Raul Reyes (pictured).

This content was published on February 16, 2000 minutes

A Colombian delegation, representing both sides in the country's decades-long civil war, has arrived in Switzerland. The delegation is made up of Colombian government officials and representatives from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), including the chief negotiator Raul Reyes (pictured).

While in Switzerland, the delegation will meet senior civil servants and representatives from industry and public bodies. It aims to look at how political and social institutions work in Switzerland and explore what lessons could be drawn to help Colombia set up similar institutions and mechanisms back home.

Money will also be high on the delegation's agenda. It will be looking for financial support to help Colombia avoid the social and political warfare of its recent history.

The visit to Switzerland forms part of a wider European tour which also takes in Italy and Spain.

FARC has waged a guerilla war against successive governments in Bogota for over 30 years, but since January 1999, the two sides have been looking for a peaceful settlement to their differences. The delegation has spent the last 10 days in intensive talks in Scandanavia.

The United Nation's special envoy for Colombia, Jan Egeland, said that the talks had begun with a total lack of confidence but had ended with growing trust between both sides. Egeland said that peace negotations had not been on the agenda, but government officials and FARC had addressed virtually every aspect of the peace process in their meetings.

From staff reports and wires

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