1 Dec 2012

First stage of Columbian peace talks over

12:47 pm on 1 December 2012

The first stage of peace talks in Cuba aimed at ending five decades of conflict in Colombia have concluded between the government and rebels from the FARC.

Government representative Humberto de la Calle said the talks were "advancing as expected".

FARC negotiators said there should be no rush to reach a peace agreement.

The talks are scheduled to resume on 5 December.

The BBC reports these are the first direct negotiations between the government and the rebels in a decade.

Land reform was a major reason for an uprising that brought about the establishment of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in the early 1960s. An estimated 600,000 people have died since the conflict began.