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Praising Planned Restart of Peace Talks, Secretary-General Urges Colombian Government, National Liberation Army to Fully Seize Opportunity for Ending Deadly Conflict

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General strongly commends the decision announced today by the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) to resume peace dialogues.  He urges both parties to fully seize this opportunity to bring an end to a deadly conflict that has lasted for decades, and whose resolution is critical for expanding the scope of peace in the country.  He notes positively the agreement of the parties to build their talks on the foundation of progress in earlier negotiations, as well as the importance they attach to the participation of civil society in the building of peace.

The Secretary-General confirms the readiness of the United Nations to provide assistance as required, through his Special Representative in Colombia, in the dialogues and implementation of agreements.  He expresses his deep appreciation to Cuba, Norway and Venezuela for agreeing to assist the parties as guarantor countries, and he encourages the international community as a whole to lend its support.

The Secretary-General is hopeful that Colombians can demonstrate once again that even the most entrenched conflicts can be resolved through dialogue.

For information media. Not an official record.