After the restart of the talks between the Government and the ELN guerrillas, the parties have expressed their good omens for the process.
Respect, trust and “positive expectations” mark the restart of the peace dialogue between the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Government of Colombia in Caracas, Venezuela, while the meetings with the delegations of guarantor, observer and accompanying countries continue .
In statements to the Venezuelan state channel VTV, several of the participants in the process expressed their good omens to reach agreements and commitments that contribute to peace.
“We have positive expectations,” said Aureliano Carbonell, ELN delegate at the negotiating table, who considered that the joint declaration signed on Monday “marks a path, a course, and sends a positive message” that the parties will make a effort to “advance the changes in Colombia”.
The ELN spokesman also highlighted the work of Caracas at this stage, as a sign of “a very positive attitude” to “seek and help in peace in Colombia.” “What is happening now is not for the first time, since long before Venezuela has been compromised,” he pointed out.
“A successful process”
For his part, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, agreed with the optimism of the ELN spokesman and was confident that this will be “a successful process.”
He also pointed out that the restart of the talks in Caracas has become a space that is “very promising”Therefore, the UN appreciates the organization of Venezuela together with the other guarantor countries: Cuba and Norway.
Likewise, the UN representative stressed the importance of reaching an agreement between the ELN and the Colombian government, “because it contributes in a very important way to the pacification processes.”
For Ruiz Massieu, it is significant that this cycle of negotiations takes place in Caracas because Colombia and Venezuela are neighbors, who “share a very solid culture of brotherhood, a common history and common problems”, which must be faced jointly.
The United Nations delegate also recalled that the UN has been accompanying the dialogues since 2017, when they verified a 100-day ceasefire that occurred at that time. In addition, they have followed up on the meetings with the ELN delegation in Havana.
“For the General Secretary [Antonio Guterres] The peace process in Colombia is very important. He has asked us to accompany him and make everything that the United Nations represents available to the parties. We will be, as always, at the disposal of what the parties, both the Government and the ELN, ask of us, and ready to accompany the process throughout its course,” he said.
The delegates of the church, through the Colombian Episcopal Conference, also participate in the dialogue as special guests, companions and observers, explained Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao Gaviria.
The religious representative commented that his presence in these conversations “has a very particular background”, and it is “that of serve and help so that there is trust at the tableso that progress can be made towards achieving peace in Colombia”, and that “in a very clear way, humanitarian relief is produced for the populations affected by the conflict”.
“Yesterday there was a historic meeting between the two delegations that meet and we began to live a dialogue created in a climate of trust, in a opening to advance and to create all the necessary conditions to achieve what summons us: agreements that allow social transformations and in the world of democracy”, Henao added.
The priest also highlighted the participation of Venezuela as the venue for these meetings, and recalled that the inclusion of Caracas had been agreed since the first rounds in Quito, in 2017, for which reason he considered its ratification as guarantor vital.
“We are united by a gigantic border of more than 2,000 kilometers, a common history, a vocation as a people who have a destiny and a path to travel in common agreement and hence the importance of Venezuela in this negotiation,” he commented.
Furthermore, he held that “Venezuela has the possibility of contributing a lot” in the process, and that, by welcoming the dialogues, the country “demonstrates its willingness to contribute” to negotiations that will have a regional impact.
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