Norway, the host country of upcoming peace talks between the Colombian government and rebel group FARC, said Tuesday it is “ready to help” and “to contribute in the best way possible.”
Minutes after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced formal peace talks would be held in Oslo the first half of October, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store sent out a press statement saying his country’s government welcomes the negotiations.
“It takes courage to seek peace. I would like to commend the parties for entering into a dialogue that could bring an end to the protracted armed conflict in Colombia. As the parties have requested assistance from Norway to find a peaceful solution, we have signalled our willingness to assist,” said Store.
The Norwegian Foreign Minister confirmed his government has “acted as facilitator on the request of both parties. Norway will do its best to continue to assist the parties in the time ahead,” said Store, adding that, “We look forward to receiving the parties in Oslo.”
The talks between the Colombian government and the rebel group are the first in ten years. Representatives of both warring parties have been speaking secretly in Cuba over the past half year to clear the way for formal negotiations that must lead to the final end of the 48-year-old armed conflict.