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We must support the post-conflict process in Colombia, say S&Ds


04 Oct 2016


Global Europe

A cross-party delegation of the European Parliament, co-chaired by S&D Euro MP Ramón Jáuregui (Spain), chair of the European Parliament's Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, visited Colombia from 28 September to 3 October 2016 to support the peace process and observe the referendum on the peace agreement. S&D Group members of the foreign affairs committee, Soraya Post MEP (Sweden) and Boris Zala MEP (Slovakia), were also part of the delegation.  
The delegation held meetings with the Colombian authorities, people for and against the peace agreement, public authorities and representatives from victim and civil society organisations, academia and the media. It also visited the places most affected by the long and cruel conflict such as Ibague, Montes de Maria, Cartagena and Medellin.

After the result of the vote, S&D MEP Ramón Jáuregui said:
"The S&D Group has supported and will continue to support the peace process in Colombia and build confidence on all sides. Colombian citizens have made their choice and we respect it.  The result of the referendum does not call into question the Colombian people's desire for peace. Negotiations have to continue because peace in Colombia can only be achieved through dialogue and a negotiated agreement. The Colombian political forces that backed the ‘no’ vote should come to a compromise with the government to renegotiate the agreements.
"Our thoughts are with the victims of so many years of violence. We are moved by their generosity, as demonstrated by the strong support for the agreement in the areas that have suffered most as a result of this long tragedy.
"It is essential that the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the ELN (National Liberation Army) continue their negotiations and that the current ceasefire remains in place. The FARC should also remain committed to securing an end to the conflict and keep their promise not to return to violence, irrespective of the result of the referendum.
"Finally, the S&D Group believes that it is crucial that political and economic support be maintained and reinforced, including by means of an EU Trust Fund for Colombia to support the post-conflict process."