France “plainly supports” ongoing peace talks in Colombia between the country’s government and largest rebel group FARC, President Francois Hollande said Friday after meeting with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos.
During a press conference, Hollande told Santos that France “doesn’t support only the peace process, but what happens after,” vowing that Paris will make sure the “European Union does not meet the meeting with peace in Colombia.”
The Colombian president thanked his French counterpart for his “generosity and support.”
Santos, accompanied by Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, is on tour in Europe to seek support and financial aid for the ongoing talks that seek to end 50 years of conflict between the FARC rebels and the state that has cost at least 220,000 in more than half a decade.
Nearing the end of his visits to Germany, Belgium, Portugal and France, Santos stressed the success of his tour, claiming that “the European Union began the creation of an instrument that will serve as one of the sources of financing of the post-conflict” situation in Colombia if and when the government and FARC reach a final agreement.
The two parties that have been at war since 1964 have been formally talking for almost two years and expectations the talks will end before 2015 are low in Colombia. According to local opinion polls, the president is having difficulty maintaining local support for the talks.
Following his visit to France, Santos flew to London, the last stop on his trip.