Representatives of Colombia's FARC guerrillas said here Monday that they won't accept Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos' "unilateral" proposal for a referendum on an eventual accord to end the Andean nation's decades-long internal conflict.
Delegates from the FARC and the Colombian government resumed peace talks in Havana after a brief "pause" the insurgent group decided to make last Friday to analyze Santos' referendum proposal.
Despite their rejection of the plebiscite, the rebels "will remain at the table faithful to the commitment to seek peace," the deputy leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Ivan Marquez, said in the Cuban capital.
"We do not go along with, nor do we attach the talks and their results to the said unilateral decision," Marquez told reporters, reading from a prepared statement.
Santos's administration and the leaders of the parties in Colombia's ruling coalition submitted a bill to Congress Thursday proposing that a referendum on an eventual peace accord be held on the same day as next year's May 25 presidential election in the Andean nation.
A ballot question is not the right way to go about seeking popular ratification for a peace accord, the FARC said Monday, arguing instead for the election of a constituent assembly to review any proposed agreements.
The government's negotiating team, headed by former Vice President Humberto de la Calle, arrived at the site of the talks in Havana without making any comments to the press.
The government delegates spent the weekend in Colombia consulting with Santos. EFE