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Government of Colombia and ELN guerrilla begin talks in Venezuela

Caracas, Apr 12 (Prensa Latina) The Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) began in Caracas the seventh meeting of the Dialogue Table, which follows up others held last February in Havana.

The talks will last until April 22nd and are expected to address topics such as participation, ceasefire, territorial transformations, as well as substantive decisions on the future of the process, as announced by the chief negotiator for the government, Vera Grabe.

The work team of the Colombian government considered it imperative to concentrate the work of the Dialogue Table on “advancing the peace process, making decisions to develop the agenda and addressing underlying issues of the process.”

The team also stated that “it is necessary not to waste time” due to serious situations, like those faced by the population in departments such as Arauca, Chocó, and Nariño, which must be addressed, and settling fundamental matters such as “the rights of the victims.”

The Venezuelan delegation pointed out that the international community “is also here, attentive, willing to contribute” as it has always done.

The ELN reported on Thursday about the decision to freeze the cycle of talks scheduled for this month with the Colombian Government but ratified its attendance at the extraordinary meeting in Caracas with representatives of the national government to address the upcoming steps.

The delegations held their talks last February in Havana, where they analyzed the progress in the agreements and the problems faced by the peace dialogue, in response to which they committed “for the proper development of the peace process”, as they noted in a joint statement. They also reaffirmed continuing with the activities provided for in the agreements and carrying out an “evaluation of the efforts and commitments during the seventh cycle.”

The Government and the ELN have signed 26 agreements to date, including community participation and a national ceasefire that was extended for one year, until August 3rd, 2024.

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