The Brazilian government “doesn’t consider it appropriate” that Colombian rebel group the FARC discuss the country’s ongoing conflict before regional body UNASUR, announced Marco Aurelio Garcia, Brazil’s presidential advisor for international affairs.
“The problem [of the conflict] needs to be resolved within the Colombian sphere” and UNASUR can only “intervene to help” if and when it is asked to by the Colombian government, Garcia said.
The FARC asked UNASUR to mediate between rebels and government to help find a political solution to end the violence that has wracked Colombia since the FARC and other guerrilla movements declared war on the state in the 1960s.
Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon immediately rejected the FARC proposal, demanding that the guerrillas lay down their weapons before holding direct peace talks with the national government in Bogota.
Ecuador, which currently holds UNASUR’s revolving presidency, on Monday also turned down the FARC’s proposal.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has scheduled his first official visit to Brazil since assuming office on August 7. He will meet with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia on September 1.
Colombia and Brazil have an amiable relationship, with Lula offering to mediate the diplomatic crisis that unfolded between Colombia and Venezuela in July.