Santos’ televised statement followed several media reports on upcoming peace talks with the rebels.
“Since the first day of my administration, I have obeyed the constitutional obligation to seek peace. Towards this direction, we have undertaken exploratory conversations with the FARC in order to seek an end to the conflict,” Santos said in a landmark address to the country.
According to the president, the government and rebels have agreed to the following “framework of principles” for talks,
- We will learn from past errors to not repeat them
- Whatever process must lead to the end of the conflict, not to its prolonging
- Operations and military presence will be maintained on every centimeter of the national territory
Santos assured Colombians that they can “fully confide that the government is working with prudence, seriousness and strength, putting the wellbeing and tranquility of all inhabitants of our country first.”
The president told guerrilla organization ELN, who on Monday also expressed their interest in holding peace talks with the government, that “within this framework of principles they can be part of these efforts to end the conflict.”
Santos announced he will give more details on the upcoming peace talks “in the coming days.”
The announced peace negotiations would be the first since 2002, when the last round of talks between rebels and the government failed.