Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Thursday expressed his support for the Colombian government’s efforts to negotiate peace with guerrilla group FARC, telling President Juan Manuel Santos to “let me know if you need any help.”
In a conversation between the former U.S. president and the current Colombian leader on W Radio, Carter told Santos, “I am very proud of what you are doing. Not only to have peace talks with the FARC, but only to reach out to your two neighbors.”
The former U.S. president stressed the importance of both international and domestic support for the Santos administration’s talks with the FARC, who have been fighting the Colombian state since their foundation in 1964.
“My hope is that not only will you have full support of all nations in this hemisphere, including my own country, the United States, but also that you have full support from all the leaders in your own country because Colombia needs to be behind you as you seek peace for your people,” said Carter.
The former U.S. president told Santos he wants to “offer the services of myself and the Carter Center if there’s any we can help. I understand the complexity of the problem, the difficulty, but if you achieve success, and I pray that you will, it will be a notable gain and success, not only for Colombia but for the entire hemisphere.”
Colombia is weeks from entering the first official peace dialogues between the government and the FARC in ten years. Jimmy Carter, through his Carter Center, has in the past assisted other developing countries in processes of peace.