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  HOME | Colombia (Click here for more)

Santos: Peace Talks Can Start Next Week If ELN Frees Hostages

BOGOTA – Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said on Tuesday that if the National Liberation Army (ELN), Colombia’s second guerrilla group, frees the hostages that they are holding, a public phase of peace talks could start next week.

“If they release the hostages in the very next week, we could announce the beginning of the public phase of negotiations because we already have 50 percent of the negotiation with the ELN, a negotiated agenda,” Santos said at a public event in Cienaga town, in Magdalena Department of Colombia.

On March 30, the ELN and the Colombian Government announced the beginning of a preliminary public phase of peace talks, in Caracas, as the Government aimed to solve some “humanitarian issues,” such as ending the kidnappings.

The Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest guerrilla group in the country, signed a historic peace agreement on Monday, ending nearly 52 years of armed conflict in the country.

 

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