The Colombian government has no immediate response to a news report that it has reached agreement with leftist FARC rebels on a framework for peace talks, an official here told Efe on Monday.

"For now there is no official statement from the government on this issue," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Telesur, a regional cable network based in Venezuela, reported earlier Monday that representatives of the Colombian government and the FARC meeting in Havana had agreed to begin formal negotiations aimed at ending the Andean nation's decades-long internal conflict.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will announce the breakthrough in the near future, the network said.

The Colombian officials consulted by Efe declined to disclose the president's whereabouts.

Telesur's news director, Colombian journalist Jorge Enrique Botero, said that while the formal inauguration of the peace process is set for Oslo, the actual talks will be conducted in Havana.

The delegates will sit down "to negotiate with the aspiration of not leaving the table until they sign a peace pact," according to Botero, who said the preliminary discussions got under way three months ago in the Cuban capital.

He said the governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Norway actively supported those discussions.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, will be represented in the negotiations by its top military commander, Wilson Valderrama Cano; the rebels' so-called foreign minister, Rodrigo Granda; and two other men who took part in previous failed talks with the government.

Negotiating on behalf of the Colombian government will be presidential security adviser Sergio Jaramillo, Environment Minister Frank Pearl and journalist Enrique Santos Calderon, the president's brother, Telesur said.

The FARC has battled a succession of Colombian governments since the mid-1960s. The insurgency swelled to nearly 20,000 fighters in the early 2000s, but now numbers around 8,500 combatants. EFE