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Colombian President Rejects Rebel Negotiating Proposal

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Colombian President Andes Pastrana rejected a negotiating proposal by Marxist FARC guerrillas on Saturday as ``not satisfactory'' and said they had until late Monday to pull out of a southern enclave.
In an address to the nation, he called on the rebels to come up with a clearer response to government demands that they directly discuss a cease-fire and an end to hostilities and kidnapping.

``Colombians want effective results ... only a clear public declaration (from the FARC) to this effect will stop the clock,'' he said. He reaffirmed an earlier stipulation that the guerrillas had until 9:30 p.m. EST Monday (0230 Tuesday GMT) to leave their safe haven before government troops moved in.

Pastrana was responding to a 14-point negotiating blueprint produced by commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -- known by the Spanish initials FARC -- on the brink of a government deadline after two days of intense talks with a special U.N. envoy. The rebel negotiating document, produced with the help of U.N. mediator James LeMoyne, was ``not satisfactory for the government or the president,'' he said.

The guerrilla proposal had seemed to address the president's main concern -- that the FARC must drop its insistence on relaxing security controls around the Switzerland-sized territory he granted them at the start of talks in late-1998. It had suggested referring disputes over roadblocks on the borders of their enclave to a special commission.
 
 

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