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Colombia's President Santos starts US visit

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos waves as he arrives for a ceremony in which the Victims' Unit gave land compensations at the municipality of San Carlos, Antioquia department, Colombia, on October 8, 2013
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos waves as he arrives for a ceremony in which the Victims' Unit gave land compensations at the municipality of San Carlos, Antioquia department, Colombia, on October 8, 2013

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday voiced hope for his country's peace process, and floated the idea of a new alliance for progress on his US visit.

"I do want to press forward on the search for peace in Colombia," Santos said at the University of Miami, a day ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington.

Colombia has had peace talks under way in Havana for just over a year.

Santos, a conservative, has already declared his intention to seek a second term which would run from 2014-2018, giving him the chance to help shepherd the peace deal with FARC guerrillas into reality.

The Colombian president also said he would propose to Obama a new alliance along the lines of the Alliance for Progress launched by John F. Kennedy when he visited Colombia five decades ago.

Colombia's civil war is the longest-running in Latin America, stretching back to the 1960s.

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