In his first speech as President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos vowed Saturday to continue fighting terrorism, but hopes to create unity among Colombians and “sow the seeds of reconciliation.”
Santos, speaking just after being vowed in as 59th President of the Republic of Colombia, said that he hoped that by creating a broad “coalition of national unity,” his government will be able to achieve “democratic prosperity” and a “new dawn” for Colombia.
“If we want to achieve full economic and social development, we must create unity among ourselves,” Santos said. “During the bicentenary of our independence it is more timely than ever that we Colombians choose to unite and not to confront. A government of national unity as I propose is to create … a broad alliance to consolidate the Colombia we dream of,” the President said.
“My call for national unity is to leave behind sterile confrontations, fights without reason, and to overcome senseless hatred between the citizens of the same country,” Santos continued.
The President said to devote himself to the creation of jobs and explained his policy of “Democratic Prosperity” was about the creation of “stable employment with fair wages and benefits, access to education and health care.”
“Only this way … we can have a society with a collective strength, ready to dream about a common future,” Santos said.
The President praised former president Uribe’s “Democratic Security” policy and vowed to continue to fights drug trafficking and leftist rebels, but “at the same time I want to reiterate that the door to dialogue is not locked. I aspire to sow the basis of a genuine reconciliation among Colombians during my government.”
However, Santos warned illegal armed groups like the FARC that “until they release their hostages and while they are committing terrorist acts and do not return the forcibly recruited children, while they keep on lying and contaminating the Colombian countryside, we will continue to combat those using violence, without exception, with everything we can.”