Friday, September 30, 2022

Colombia seeks to resume peace talks with ELN in Cuba

HAVANA ( Associated Press) – The Colombian government on Thursday announced its intention to resume peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), which were suspended more than four years ago, at a time when leftist Gustavo Petro’s new The government wishes to finalize an agreement. To lay down the last active guerrilla weapon in the Andean country.

Foreign Minister lvaro Leyva arrived in Havana with the head of the Colombian delegation to establish contacts with the ELN representatives. Gustavo Petro has said since the presidential campaign that he wants to resume peace talks with the rebel group.

The last peace talks with the ELN, established in 1964 under the influence of Marxism, began in 2017 during the government of Juan Manuel Santos (2010–2018) and took place in Quito and then in Havana. However, the Colombian government suspended talks in early 2018 following a guerrilla group attack against police officers.

And although he allowed his representatives to remain on the island in the hope of being able to resume contacts, in January 2019, when then-President Ivan Duque (2018-2022) attacked police with explosives by guerrillas, The conversation was then terminated. The school, killing 22 people, was the largest attack in the South American nation in 15 years.

“Absolute peace is not only national but transcends borders,” Leva said, posting a photo of the delegation on Twitter minutes before leaving for the Caribbean island capital.

The Colombian representative also showed his support for Cuba by rejecting the status of “state sponsor of terrorism”, which the United States has maintained on the island since the Donald Trump government. This goes in the opposite direction to the position of the previous government of Ivan Duque (2018-2022), who shared the US stance against Havana.

The United States justified its refusal to extradite a group of Colombian ELN guerrillas and blacklist Cuba again for supporting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“I would like to thank Foreign Minister Leva for his statement and his call to end the illegal designation of Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez replied, and then shook hands with his counterpart. .

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on his Twitter account that he welcomed Leva, who led the delegation, as well as the High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, and Senator Ivan Cepeda, chairman of the Colombian Senate Peace Commission. He also shared a picture with his Colombian counterpart along with his tweet.

Petro, who was a member of the extinct Guerrilla M-19 in his youth, told the press that Commissioner Rueda is authorized to liaise directly with the ELN and verify whether, as he stated in the press release, the resumption There is likely to be talks or a bilateral ceasefire.

The new Colombian government has signaled its desire to seek “absolute peace”, the disarmament of various illegal groups in order to stop the cycle of violence that has not ended since the signing of the historic peace deal in 2016 with the former revolutionary expected to promote. Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Many of his commanders have been in Cuba since talks broke down. This generated diplomatic tension as the duke demanded that Cuba be extradited to command so that they comply with judicial requirements, while Cuba refused, relying on compliance with the protocols signed in the peace talks, considering that in the event of a breach, he would Will have a few days to return to their camps.

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Suarez reported from Bogota.

Nation World News Desk
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