World News

Spanish PM backs Colombian president’s peace plan

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Thursday gave his full backing to Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s peace plan aimed toward reaching a cease-fire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group.

Speaking after talks with Petro, who’s on a state go to to Spain, Sánchez mentioned he had conveyed Spain’s dedication “to assist his formidable plan and brave mission for whole peace” in Colombia.

Spain is a 3rd get together in Colombia’s ongoing talks with the ELN, a communist-inspired army pressure that remained energetic after the dissolution in 2017 of the FARC, a bigger group that spent a long time in battle with the federal government.


Colombia and the ELN began talks in November, shortly after Petro, an ex-rebel, was elected as Colombia’s first leftist president.

Petro has referred to as the talks a cornerstone of his effort to resolve a battle that dates again to the Nineteen Sixties.

Last week, ELN militants killed 9 Colombian troopers in an assault, complicating negotiations. Talks restarted in Havana on Tuesday.

Petro mentioned that relying utterly on how the talks go and what progress is made in establishing a long-lasting cease-fire, Spain would possibly be capable to assist persuade the European Union to contemplate taking the ELN off the terrorist lists.

Colombia's President Gustavo Petro and Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez

Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro, left, and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez end a information convention in Madrid, Spain, on May 4, 2023. Sánchez has given his full backing to Petro’s peace plan. (AP Photo/Paul White)

He mentioned this might assist the ELN to “purchase a genuinely political standing, clearly sustaining an increasing number of safe negotiations in direction of the definitive abandonment of violence.”

Sánchez, a Socialist, mentioned the 2 additionally mentioned the summit between the EU and Latin American international locations in July in Brussels.

The summit will come within the early days of Spain taking cost of the EU’s rotating presidency, a six-month interval during which Madrid goals to revitalize Europe’s relations with Latin America.


Petro mentioned it was essential that the summit “shouldn’t be only one extra assembly, however fairly a milestone, a change of section within the financial and political relations between the 2 areas.”

Spain and Colombia additionally signed a collection of accords in areas together with rail infrastructure, aeronautics, digital connectivity, crime cooperation and schooling through the go to.

Sánchez mentioned Spain would make $1.1 billion obtainable for financing tasks involving Spanish firms in Colombia.

The two additionally mentioned the necessity to step up the worldwide struggle in opposition to local weather change. Sánchez mentioned the battle was “a precedence for each governments” and welcomed Colombia’s choice to affix the International Drought Resilience Alliance.

The alliance, promoted by Spain and Senegal within the COP27 assembly final November in Egypt, now has greater than 30 nation members and works towards shifting from crises administration to drought preparedness.

Spain is in the course of a protracted drought after a record-hot 2022.

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