The government of President Hugo Chavez has named an experienced diplomat as Venezuela’s top representative at the forthcoming peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas, reported local media Tuesday.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro confirmed Tuesday that Roy Chaderton will lead his country’s delegation at the peace talks in Norway this month, reported newspaper El Tiempo.
The 70-year-old veteran has a wealth of experience representing Chavez at the highest levels of diplomacy. Chaderton’s stint as foreign minister (2002-2004) was possibly his most high profile role in politics. He more recently served as Venezuela’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (2008–2009).
Chaderton would be well aware of the dynamics of Colombia’s conflict, given that he worked as Chavez’s representative in Bogota from 2001 to 2002.
The Chavez administration has consistently made public its support for the Colombian peace process since Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos formally announced negotiations with the rebels were underway.
“We are ready to give a hand to our sister because peace in Colombia is peace in Venezuela and South America, and that is the ultimate goal,” said foreign minister Maduro. “We have always been willing to give all our support for peace in Colombia, which is the peace for the entire region,” he added.
The peace talks were originally scheduled to begin on October 8, however have since been delayed. While all parties have not confirmed a new starting date, the negotiations are expected to commence by the end of the month. Norway and Cuba are the guarantors of the negotiation process.