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Minister Flanagan welcomes Colombia Peace Agreement

International relations, Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Latin America, 2016

 

Minister Flanagan welcomes Colombia Peace Agreement 

-        Our own history gives us a particular interest in conflict resolution

-        Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade provided support to the peace process

-        Minister acknowledges role played former Tánaiste, Mr. Eamon Gilmore 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed the historic signature of a peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias Colombianas) in Havana, Cuba.

The agreement was initialled by the Chief Negotiators of each side following four years of Talks and will be formally signed in a ceremony in Colombia in the coming weeks. A plebiscite will take place in Colombia on Sunday 2 October to seek public approval of the accord.

Amongst those officially thanked by the negotiators for their support to the process was the EU Special Envoy to the Colombian peace process, former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Eamon Gilmore.

Acknowledging the significance of the historic peace agreement, Minister Flanagan said:

“As Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, I have taken a particular interest in the Colombian Peace Process and, more broadly, the positive role Ireland can play in conflict resolution.  Our own recent history on this island helps us to appreciate what a historic development the signature of this new peace agreement represents for the people of Colombia and the surrounding region.

“The horrific conflict in Colombia lasted over fifty years and has devastated the lives of generations of people and today the more than 200,000 people who lost their lives in this horrific conflict and their loved ones are foremost in my thoughts.  

“This landmark peace agreement gives the citizens of Colombia the prospect of a brighter, more peaceful future. I congratulate President Juan Manuel Santos for his courage in pursuing peace as well as all the parties to the Talks who have worked for nearly four years to reach this point.

“My Department provided ongoing support to the process, including sending a scoping mission to Colombia earlier this year. Ireland also supported the provision of technical assistance to the Talks process in Havana, as well as ongoing access to the lessons of the Northern Ireland peace process.

“I acknowledge that notwithstanding this new agreement, there is a challenging road ahead.  Ireland will continue to offer support to Colombia in the implementation of this important peace agreement, recognising that faithful implementation is critical to the success of any peace agreement.

 “Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the role played by EU Special Envoy to the Colombian Peace Process, former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore, and I know that he will also be involved in the implementation phase.”

ENDS

Press Office

25 August, 2016