Colombia and FARC strike deal on key peace issue

Commander of the Colombian FARC-EP guerrillas Marcos Calarca gives a speech at Convention Palace in Havana before the beginning of the peace talks with the Colombian Government, on November 5, 2013Colombia's government and FARC guerrillas reached agreement Wednesday on the rebels' future participation in politics, a deal that brings the country closer to ending a half-century of civil war. The accord was a much-needed boost to year-long peace talks that had appeared to be close to stalling in recent months, with President Juan Santos repeatedly warning the process was dragging on without progress. The rebels' political reintegration was one of five agenda points under negotiation between Santos's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). "We have reached fundamental agreement on the second point of the agenda," they said in a joint statement read out in Havana by a Cuban diplomat, Rodolfo Benitez, confirming the political deal.