NEW YORK (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday he is "cautiously optimistic" that his government can reach a peace deal with Marxist rebels.
In New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Santos said he wants to return to the city next year and announce that his conflict-battered country has signed a peace agreement.
Peace negotiations are set to begin with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in Norway next month. In a speech to the Americas Society, Santos said he hope to come back to New York in 2013 and say, "There is peace in Colombia."
"I am optimistic, cautiously optimistic," he said on Wednesday. "I think the conditions are there."
While Santos has not set a deadline for completion of the peace talks, he has said he wants the process to take months, not years....