Colombia to start peace talks with ELN rebels on Oct 27

Updated: 2016-10-11 10:43


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BOGOTA/CARACAS - Colombia's government and second-biggest rebel group announced on Monday they will start formal peace talks on Oct 27 in a boost for President Juan Manuel Santos after the rejection of his deal with the larger FARC guerrilla group.

The negotiations with the 2,000-strong National Liberation Army (ELN) will begin in Ecuador, according to an agreement signed in Caracas by both sides under the auspices of Venezuela's government.

"We are a special nation that grows despite adversities," Santos said in a speech after the announcement. "Peace won't slip through our fingers. On the contrary, it will be stronger, and now that we will advance with the ELN, it will be complete."