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Colombia's government rebuffs rebels' call for unilateral cease-fire

FILE - In this May 16, 2014 file photo, negotiators from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), left, and Colombia's government, right, give a press conference under a sign that reads in Spanish "Peace Talks" in Havana, Cuba. Colombia's government has rebuffed a unilateral truce declared on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2014 by the country's largest rebel group, saying conditions demanded by the guerrillas’ are unacceptable until a peace deal is reached. Sitting at the table, from left, are chief of the western bloc of the FARC Pablo Catatumbo, FARC chief negotiator Ivan Marquez, Norwegian guarantor Dag Nylander, Cuban guarantor Rodolfo Benitez Verson, head of Colombia's government team Humberto de la Calle, government negotiator Sergio Jaramillo, and government negotiator Gen. Jorge Mora. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)

FILE - In this May 16, 2014 file photo, negotiators from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), left, and Colombia's government, right, give a press conference under a sign that reads in Spanish "Peace Talks" in Havana, Cuba. Colombia's government has rebuffed a unilateral truce declared on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2014 by the country's largest rebel group, saying conditions demanded by the guerrillas’ are unacceptable until a peace deal is reached. Sitting at the table, from left, are chief of the western bloc of the FARC Pablo Catatumbo, FARC chief negotiator Ivan Marquez, Norwegian guarantor Dag Nylander, Cuban guarantor Rodolfo Benitez Verson, head of Colombia's government team Humberto de la Calle, government negotiator Sergio Jaramillo, and government negotiator Gen. Jorge Mora. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)  (The Associated Press)

Colombia's government is rebuffing a unilateral truce declared by the country's largest rebel group as unacceptable.

President Juan Manuel Santos said in a statement Thursday that he can't accept the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's demand that Latin American nations be allowed to verify the cease-fire, saying such outside vigilance would have to wait until a peace deal is reached.

The rebels said Wednesday they would refrain from staging any more attacks as long as they aren't targeted by Colombia's military. Santos has long rejected such an option and reiterated Thursday his pledge to guarantee the safety of all Colombians.

Nevertheless, he says his government values the rebels' gesture as a way to begin de-escalating hostilities and forge a peace agreement being negotiated the past two years in Cuba.