The E.U. on Tuesday welcomed the FARC’s announcement of a two-month unilateral ceasefire, the first truce in more than a decade.
A statement issued by the office of High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, said that she “welcomes any step that the FARC may take to spare the Colombian people from the violence that has been afflicting them for so long.”
The FARC announced the ceasefire on Monday, the first day of peace negotiations with the Colombian government which are taking place in Havana, Cuba.
“This police decision of the FARC is a contribution made to strengthen the climate of understanding necessary so that the parties that are starting the dialogue achieve the purpose desired by all Colombians,” said chief FARC negotiator “Ivan Marquez” who called the ceasefire minutes before entering the negotiations.
The Colombian government however has rejected the ceasefire and the country’s defense minister said that the army will continue operations against the FARC, adding that it is the security forces’ “constitutional obligation to pursue all thse criminals who have violated the constitution, the law, those who have attacked the security of life and citizens of Colombia.”
Ashton expressed her hope that “the negotiations in Havana will allow a final agreement to be reached quickly so that Colombia can enter into a full-fledged peace-building phase.”