BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia's government says the leader of the country's largest rebel army has secretly traveled to Cuba for meetings with fellow revolutionaries negotiating an end to a half-century civil conflict.

Colombia's Interior Ministry said in a statement Friday that Rodrigo Londono Echeverry didn't meet with government negotiators during his two trips to the communist island.

It's not clear when or how the man known as Timochenko traveled to Havana. The government only said that to build momentum for the two-year-old talks it has agreed to facilitate the internal consultations by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

The fact the trips were not previously announced could give fodder to critics who say too much secrecy surrounds the peace talks.