Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry, at the request of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, met with the parties negotiating a peace agreement for Colombia this afternoon in Havana, Cuba. The Secretary first met with the Colombian government's negotiating team and then with the FARC negotiating team.
Secretary Kerry reiterated to both sides that the United States strongly supports the peace process, and is prepared through "Paz Colombia," announced February 4 by President Obama, to support the implementation of a final agreement to end the longest running conflict in the Western Hemisphere. He underscored to both sides that the peace process in Colombia, like President Obama's historic visit to Cuba, was a sign of "a profound transformation underway in Latin America."
Secretary Kerry stressed that the international community is also supporting the peace process, including the UN Secretary General and Security Council, the European Union, and the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
He told both parties he is encouraged that the "end of conflict" issues are now front and center in the negotiations, including a formal bilateral ceasefire monitored by the UN Security Council; a timetable for disarmament, and security guarantees post-conflict for all lawful political actors. Secretary Kerry urged the parties to redouble their efforts to resolve these difficult issues that are necessary to conclude a final agreement.