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Minister Flanagan urges Colombia to remain committed to the peace process

Minister Charles Flanagan, Press Releases, Latin America, 2016

 Minister Flanagan urges Colombia to remain committed to the peace process and to return to the negotiating table 

- Minister welcomes statements from both sides to maintain dialogue

- Ireland remains committed to supporting the Colombian peace process

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has urged all parties in Colombia to remain committed to peace following the narrow rejection of the peace agreement between the Government and the FARC guerrilla group (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) in a plebiscite yesterday (Sunday). 

Minister Flanagan said:

“The decision of the Colombian electorate to narrowly reject the agreement negotiated in Havana must not deter the two sides from pursuing peace.  I welcome the statement of both sides involved in the negotiations recommitting themselves to peace and dialogue.

“This remains an important and historic opportunity to bring a definitive end to a conflict which has devastated Colombian society for more than half a century. As we know from our own experience here in Ireland, peace processes are difficult, complicated and can suffer unexpected setbacks.

“As the parties to the conflict reflect on the plebiscite outcome, it is vital that they remain focused on their ultimate objective – bringing peace to their country and improving the lives of present and future generations of Colombians.”

“Ireland remains committed to supporting the peace process in Colombia, including through supporting the efforts of the United Nations and of European Union Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process, Mr Eamon Gilmore, as well as NGOs working to promote and defend human rights. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also facilitated Colombian access to lessons learned from the peace process in Northern Ireland.”

ENDS

Press Office

3 October 20106

Note to editors

The agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC was the result of a four- year negotiating process in Havana, Cuba. It was signed in Cartagena, Colombia, on 26 September, 2016, before being put to a national plebiscite. The agreement was defeated by 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent in the vote.