Colombian Government and ELN Meet in Caracas for an Extraordinary Meeting
Extraordinary Meeting of Colombian Government and ELN Peace Delegations to End Conflict
The peace delegations of the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) resumed their talks in Caracas with an extraordinary meeting aiming to put an end to recent disagreements between them. The meeting was held on Tuesday, with seven negotiators from the Government of Gustavo Petro, in the presence of the guarantors of the dialogue, and is expected to continue until the weekend when a joint declaration is likely.
The ELN delegation reported on Twitter that its members were “ready for the meeting” to “overcome the crisis generated” by the unilateral ceasefire announced by Petro on December 31, which the guerrilla movement says was not consulted at the Caracas dialogue table. However, the Government of the Andean country assures that no crisis exists and that the situation has to be overcome.
The Tuesday meeting was a key step to improve the climate before the second cycle of talks, which is to take place in Mexico and was originally planned for February. Colombian Ambassador to Venezuela Armando Benedetti expressed his hopes for the two parties to reach a “real and lasting peace.”
The outcome of the talks remains to be seen, but this meeting is a necessary step for both parties to reconcile their differences and agree on a viable path for cooperation.