Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels have formally launched peace talks in Norway aimed at ending nearly five decades of a conflict that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Norway, followed by Cuba, is hosting the first direct talks between the two sides in 10 years.
The Colombian government and the rebels officially began the negotiations on Thursday in a hotel in Hurdal, a small town north of Oslo, with the heads of the delegations, Humberto de la Calle for Bogota and Ivan Marquez for the rebels, appearing on the same podium but without shaking hands.
'We come with an olive branch in our hands,' Marquez said.
De la Calle meanwhile expressed 'moderate optimism' about reaching a peace deal after three earlier attempts failed.
'We hope that there will be good results for the Colombian people. This is a moment of hope,' he said, noting there were 'substantial differences to (peace) processes in the past.'
He cited social changes in Colombia, less poverty, and the fact that Bogota has this time ruled out a ceasefire with rebels until a final peace agreement is in place.
'There will be no halting of military operations,' De la Calle reiterated, urging FARC to 'fight for their ideals but within the democratic framework.'
The Norway round of talks was aimed at hashing out technical details and logistics for the peace process's five-point plan.
The two sides will hold preparatory meetings in Cuba from November 5 and the talks will resume in earnest on the Caribbean island on November 15, they said on Thursday. That is when in-depth negotiations will start with the thorny issue of rural development.
Colombia has wide income disparities, with much of the country's rural areas lacking basic services and infrastructure.
The Cuba round of talks will also address the issue of land distribution. Colombia's countryside is full of large plots mostly owned by the wealthy and little land is available to small farmers who want their own plots.
Land reform was at the heart of a peasant uprising in the 1960s that saw the formation of FARC, and access to farmland remains an important issue in a country where half the population lives in poverty.
The four other main points on the peace agenda are: the rebels' future role in political life, a definitive end to hostilities, fighting the illegal drug trade and the situation of victims.