Colombian government recognizes ELN delegation in Cuba for peace negotiations

The Colombian Government’s High Commissioner for Peace, Danilo Rueda, has announced from Cuba that the legitimacy of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla delegation in Havana to negotiate peace is officially recognized.

“Consequently, the Government of Colombia will adopt all political and legal measures within the framework of domestic and international law to guarantee the conditions that allow the resumption of talks with the ELN,” Rueda said in a statement published on social networks.

The Colombian government delegation emphasizes that “we note that the ELN shares the Colombian government’s desire for peace, that they listen to the voices of multiple sectors of society, which from the territories and various instances are clamoring for a solution to the armed conflict through dialogue.”

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“In the meetings held, the Delegation has announced that the ELN will take the necessary steps to resume the Table of talks” and agree that the parties share the need to restart the dialogues.

Previously, the Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alvaro Leyva, had confirmed from Havana that Cuba will continue to host the dialogue with the ELN after speculations about a possible change of venue.

“We aspire to resume the dialogues with the National Liberation Army in this land of peace in order to start the path proposed by President Petro Urrego and reach total peace,” Leyva said from Havana last Thursday.

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Since the triumph of President Gustavo Petro in the June 2022 elections, the ELN leadership has shown interest in resuming peace agreements that began in February 2017 in Quito. They subsequently moved to Havana, where the last meeting took place in August of that year without progress.

The talks were interrupted after the ELN did not agree to the demands of Iván Duque’s government, which finally suspended indefinitely any kind of dialogue in January 2019 when the attack on a police cadet school in which twenty people died took place.

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