Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday he hopes the support for peace from other governments becomes “pressure for us to reach an agreement, as peace would be a win-win situation for everyone.”
During the conversation at his Alma Mater, the University of Kansas, for his U.S. tour that began on Sunday, the president discussed the peace talks that are to be held in Norway’s capital Oslo in the coming weeks. “If we end this war, there is no limit to what Colombia can be,” he said.
“Colombia is going through some very important changes, but we still have serious problems. We still have conflict, we have an internal conflict with guerrilla movements that have been going on for the last 50 years. An internal war, but a war after all. And I want to try to finish it,” said Santos.
The president said that Colombia is a country with great potential strength when peace comes. “We started a process, some think it’s too risky because other initiatives have failed in the past. I think in today’s world, in today’s conditions we have a good chance to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict. That would be a tremendous change for Colombia because Colombia is well, despite the conflict.”
Santos also offered to play a mediating role between the U.S. and the rest of Latin America. “We want to work with the U.S. and Central America and the Caribbean on the war on drugs,” said the president, who added that the offer is “not mutually exclusive,” and would be extended to Venezuela and Cuba as well.
The Colombian president is in the U.S. until Wednesday when he will address the UN General Assembly.
“University life is one of the most important stages in any person’s life,” said the Colombian president referring to his time spent at the University of Kansas. “It is the loudest, the happiest, it was a very important part of my life at this university,” he said.
The president will also hold meetings with the Heads of State of Japan, the UK, Norway, Turkey, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic and later meet with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. He will also receive recognition from the Americas Society and the American Jewish Committee in New York.