Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday that peace talks with rebel group FARC are at a point they’ve never been before and that they could quite possibly come to an agreement in the next few months.
“If you keep the pace of the last few weeks, it is perfectly possible to complete the work [of the peace negotiations] in months”, said Santos.
Santos also made it clear that he believed that any foundation laid for the construction of peace, should be one which prevents the recurrence of conflict, and “not just the FARC laying down their arms.”
Santos stressed the importance of coming to real guarantees regarding the FARC’s political participation, in order to avoid the “nightmare of the eighties, and break the link between politics and weapons.” Santos is referring here to the Union Patriotica (UP) political party, which was formed by the FARC, in the context of peace talks with the administration of former Colombian President Belisario Betacur in the late ’80s. The party’s members were later subject to a paramilitary extermination campaign which resulted in the deaths of thousands of UP politicians and supporters.
The president also recognized the strong commitment the FARC have made in Cuba, where the peace talks are taking place, to arrive at a peace agreement by the end of the year.
“I am pleased to acknowledge that [FARC leader] Timochenko has taken a first step in that direction, and I appreciate that the FARC have said today that it is possible to end the conflict this year,” said Santos.
- ‘Se está trabajando en La Habana en la construcción de un acuerdo como nunca antes se había hecho en Colombia’: Presidente Santos (Presidential Press Release)
- Si se mantienen ritmos de dialogos con FARC, proceso culmina en meses: Santos (Caracol Radio)
- Santos considera que dialogos de paz puden concluir en unos meses (telesur)
- Santos dice que para sentar bases solidas de paz que hacer cambios profundos (yahoo noticias en espanol)