US condemns kidnapping of Colombian general by rebels
Washington: The US Tuesday denounced the kidnapping of an army general in Colombia, a move that had led to a suspension of peace talks between the government and the FARC rebels.
"We condemn the kidnapping of Brigadier General Alzate and his travel companions on Nov 16, particularly given the ongoing peace efforts by the Colombian government," Xinhua quoted State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke as saying at a press briefing.
The FARC guerrillas confirmed earlier in the day that they were holding General Ruben Dario Alzate, who was reportedly captured Sunday in Colombia's western Choco department, along with a lower-ranking army man and a lawyer.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos ordered late Sunday the suspension of ongoing peace talks with the rebels for their alleged involvement in the abductions. He conditioned resumed talks on the general's "immediate return".
Rathke declined to make any comment on the Colombian government 's reaction, saying, "We certainly condemn the kidnapping, especially because of the efforts the Colombian government had been making."
The peace talks are aimed at ending a five-decade-long armed conflict that has claimed some 200,000 lives in the South American country.
The government delegation had been scheduled to travel early Monday to Havana, Cuba, for the latest round of negotiations.