Colombia peace deal defeated by voters

In this photo released by Colombia's Presidential Office, shows President Juan Manuel Santos, center, announcing the signing of a preliminary agreement to launch peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, during a nationally televised speech from the presidential palace in Bogota, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2011. Santos said the talks would begin in early October in Oslo, Norway, and would continue in Havana, Cuba. Sitting at right are cabinet ministers and at left chiefs of the armed forces. (AP Photo/Javier Casella, Colombia's Presidential Office)
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Colombia's president says he'll consult with the opposition and leaders of the country's largest rebel movement following a shock defeat of a peace accord in a nationwide referendum Sunday. It lost by a razor-thin margin.
In a much-anticipated televised address, President Juan Manuel Santos said he will leave in place a cease-fire with the rebels while trying to save the peace accord. He says the accord represents the best option for Colombia to put behind it more than a half century of hostilities with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Santos also said he has ordered government negotiators to return to Cuba on Monday to consult with leaders of the FARC.
The president says: "I won't give up. I'll continue search for peace until the last moment of my mandate."
Meanwhile, the FARC leader, known widely by his nom de guerre Timochenko, is reiterating the rebel group's willingness to continue working toward peace.
Speaking to journalists in Havana after Sunday's referendum results, he referred to the FARC as a political movement instead of a rebel army.



 
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