The Americas

Colombian president meeting rival Uribe in bid to save peace

  • A supporter of the peace deal signed between the Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, wave a flag during a rally in front of Congress, in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016.  Colombians  rejected a peace deal with leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by a razor-thin margin in a national referendum Sunday, dismissing years of negotiations and delivering a setback to President Juan Manuel Santos. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    A supporter of the peace deal signed between the Colombian government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, wave a flag during a rally in front of Congress, in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. Colombians rejected a peace deal with leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by a razor-thin margin in a national referendum Sunday, dismissing years of negotiations and delivering a setback to President Juan Manuel Santos. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man reads a newspaper with the headline that reads in Spanish: "Colombia said No" in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. Voters rejected a peace deal with leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by a razor-thin margin in a national referendum Sunday, dismissing years of  negotiations and delivering a setback to President Juan Manuel Santos. Final results showed that 50.2 percent opposed the accord, while 49.8 percent favored it. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    A man reads a newspaper with the headline that reads in Spanish: "Colombia said No" in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. Voters rejected a peace deal with leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by a razor-thin margin in a national referendum Sunday, dismissing years of negotiations and delivering a setback to President Juan Manuel Santos. Final results showed that 50.2 percent opposed the accord, while 49.8 percent favored it. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos prepares to cast his ballot in a referendum to decide whether or not to support the peace deal he signed with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.   (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos prepares to cast his ballot in a referendum to decide whether or not to support the peace deal he signed with rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will meet with his predecessor and chief opponent in a bid to save a peace deal with leftist rebels.

Santos' office says the president spoke with Alvaro Uribe by phone Tuesday and the two men will meet privately Wednesday.

Santos was defense minister under Uribe, and Uribe helped him be elected president, but the two angrily split shortly after Santos took office in 2010.

Santos has tried to extend an olive branch to his popular rival in the wake of Sunday's stunning referendum defeat of the peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Uribe led the "no" campaign, arguing that provisions that would keep rebels who committed serious war crimes from going to jail sets a bad example criminal gangs will seize on.