Colombian state forces said they would de - escalate war if rebels uphold ceasefire. Colombia pledged on Sunday to de-escalate military action against leftist guerrillas if the rebels uphold their unilateral ceasefire, providing a breakthrough in peace talks that had been threatened by an escalation of battlefield violence. President Juan Manuel Santos said he would analyze the situation in four months to decide if talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) would continue, Reuters reported. In a joint statement with FARC rebels in Havana, the Colombian government said it would enact "de-escalation of military actions" beginning July 20 as long as the FARC maintains a ceasefire it called for that date. Santos called the announcement "an important step to advancing toward agreement." The two sides have been engaged in peace talks in Cuba for 2-1/2 years in an attempt to end Latin America's longest war, which has killed some 220,000 people and displaced millions over 50 years. But the talks have been overshadowed by an increase in fighting this year. Santos has said he would like to reach a peace agreement in 2015, and the two sides pledged on Sunday to work "without delay" toward a deal. "We will be vigilant about what has been agreed today," Santos said in a televised address. "In four months from now, depending on how the FARC meet (the agreement), I will take the decision of whether to continue with the process or not."