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EU will support peace negotiations in Colombia: Envoy

EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell speaks in Bogota, April 26 2023
EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell speaks in Bogota, April 26 2023 - Copyright AFP/File Juan Carlos Cisneros
EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell speaks in Bogota, April 26 2023 - Copyright AFP/File Juan Carlos Cisneros

The European Union will support upcoming peace talks between the Colombian government and dissident factions of the disarmed FARC guerrillas, the bloc’s diplomacy chief said Wednesday.

“I am impressed by what President (Gustavo) Petro wants to do with his ‘total peace’ project,” said Josep Borrell, who arrived in Colombia Tuesday.

“The European Union will accompany this process in every way we can, politically and economically.”

Petro has been pursuing negotiations in recent months with a swath of armed actors in Colombia — many of them linked to drug trafficking — including paramilitary groups, criminal gangs and dissident groups that split off from the Marxist FARC guerrilla movement when it signed a peace accord with the government in 2016.

Negotiations are set to begin with the Central General Staff, one of the main FARC dissident groups, in May.

“What worries me is that the process will require political energy, a commitment from Colombian society, enormous financial resources. And I can guarantee that the European Union will be at Colombia’s side in building this peace,” Borrell said.

Borrell also visited projects aimed at helping the large numbers of migrants that have crossed into Colombia from neighboring Venezuela, in Bogota’s Santa Fe neighborhood. 

He announced 10 million euros in aid to support migrant assistance projects, as well as 10 million dollars earmarked for deforestation prevention efforts.

AFP
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