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Deal reached on land reform in Colombia

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Deal reached on land reform in Colombia
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Bogotá: The government of Colombia and leftist rebels say they have reached a deal on land reform, one of the most contentious items in their protracted peace negotiations.

Sunday's agreement between Bogota and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) would compensate those who lost land or were displaced from their property, according to Cuban diplomat Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, whose country played host to the months-long negotiations.

The government promised to build up services and infrastructure in rural areas as it tries to end the country's long history of social and economic inequality.

"What we have agreed to in this accord will be the beginning of radical transformations in the rural and agrarian reality of Colombia, with equity and democracy," said a statement read at the end of the ninth round of the talks that began in Havana in November.

Both sides said the accord constituted a major breakthrough.

Al Jazeera's Alessandro Rampietti, reporting from the Colombian capital Bogota, said that it was the first concrete step in the peace talks that had been going on in Havana.

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