United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday welcomed the announcement of peace talks between Colombia’s government and the FARC guerrilla group.
Spokesperson Martin Nesirky told Colombia Reports that “the Secretary General was very pleased to learn that the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, has announced exploratory talks between his Government and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.”
The Colombian government signed a formal agreement to begin peace talks with the FARC on Monday.
Entering his second term at the helm of the UN, the Secretary-General “hopes that this will be the start of a productive dialogue to address and resolve a conflict which has afflicted the Colombian people for almost five decades.”
The spokesperson added that Ban Ki-moon in support of the peace process wished to make his “good offices available should they be deemed useful.”
Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, also welcomed the announcement of the peace talks and noted that “it has always been the conviction of the European Union that only a negotiated solution can provide the basis for lasting peace in Colombia.”
In a statement on Monday the E.U. High Representative said that she hoped “this very positive development can mark the beginning of the end of Colombia’s five decade-old internal conflict.”
The Colombian peace talks will be the first since 2002 when negotiations between guerrillas and the Pastrana government failed.