«The delegations of the Government of the Republic of Colombia and Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN), meeting in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (…) we have met with willingness, optimism, certainty and hope for one: to resume with full political and ethical will the process of political dialogue between the national government and the ELN as demanded by the people of rural and urban territories that suffer violence and exclusion,» the parties said in a statement.
On Monday, the ELN and the Colombian government, led by Gustavo Petro, resumed negotiations to reach a definitive peace agreement with Venezuela as the guarantor and host country of this process.
In the document, the parties expressed their willingness to build peace based on democracy with justice and achieve tangible and urgent changes for Colombia.
The delegations thanked the commitment of the guarantor countries (Cuba, Norway and Venezuela), the United Nations (UN) verification mission and the Catholic Church, represented by the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.
The parties also reiterated the need to build real changes to overcome violence and its causes in the country.
Since his arrival to the presidency, Petro has expressed his willingness to reestablish talks with the ELN, the second largest and oldest guerrilla group in Colombia, after the extinct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP).
On October 4, the Colombian government and the guerrillas signed a communiqué in Caracas, in which they agreed to reinstate the talks with their respective delegations.
Likewise, they decided to resume the agreements and progress made since the signing of the agenda on March 30, 2016.