President Juan Manuel Santos wants his Uruguayan peer Jose Mujica “much closer” to the Colombian peace process which is currently taking place in Cuba and has invited him to the country, said Foreign minister Maria Angela Holguin during a visit to Montevideo.
“We want Mujica to visit Colombia, we want him closer to the peace process in which we are involved in Colombia” said Holguin who is in a regional tour that started in Peru and will continue in Argentina and Chile.
“We are extremely grateful to President Mujica for all his expressions in support of the peace process in Colombia. For us this process is of vital importance, and his public support, including talking about the issue with Francis, for which we are extremely grateful” said Holguin following a meeting with Uruguayan Foreign minister Luis Almagro and previously with President Mujica.
In a recent visit to Spain and the Vatican, Mujica called on the international community to collaborate in whatever possible for a successful culmination of the peace process in Colombia.
“President Santos wishes Mr Mujica to have a first hand on the ground assessment of how this process is advancing, but also to listen to the wise advises from the Uruguayan head of state”, said Holguin.
“I believer President Mujica has much to say on this field, we have much to learn about reconciliation, which is the stage into which Colombia is moving to: a reconciliation process that is vital for our nation, for peace and for our people”.
Since last November the Colombian government and the guerrilla movement Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, FARC, are involved in talks to end the half century armed conflict and so far have reached a consensus on the first of five points of the political agenda referred to rural development and land holdings.
Currently they are discussing the second point which refers to the incorporation of the disarmed guerrilla to politics.
FARC have been fighting the Colombian government since almost fifty years and is believed to currently have a force of 8.000 armed and paid combatants. At one time they had control over 20% of the Colombian territory, but now following the two consecutive governments of former president Alvaro Uribe and his Defence minister Juan Manuel Santos, are on the run.