The fourth round of the peace talks between the Colombian government and the guerrilla organization National Liberation Army (ELN) was completed in Caracas, with the aim of achieving peace in Colombia.
Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Yván Gil said after the closing of the fourth round of the peace talks that Venezuela has been committed to the Colombian peace process as a sincere and objective guarantor, as requested by Colombia.
“On behalf of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, the national government as guarantor is committed and determined to reaffirm that peace in Colombia is urgent and cannot be postponed, in order to achieve the [total peace] project of President Gustavo Petro,” added Gil, speaking at the Casona Cultural Aquiles Nazoa where the fourth round was held. “We congratulate both delegations for these weeks of work in our country.”
Nos complace haber hospedado en Caracas el cuarto ciclo de negociaciones de paz entre el Gobierno de Colombia y el Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN), que hoy culmina con grandes expectativas luego de tres semanas de conversaciones.
¡El gobierno bolivariano encabezado… pic.twitter.com/oAuehExVX1
— Yvan Gil (@yvangil) September 4, 2023
“Peace is not just another option that we make from Venezuela out of charity or out of a mood,” said the foreign minister, “but it is a commitment and an action where Venezuela is involved precisely to achieve the objectives of peace.”
He reported that since September 2022, when Venezuela agreed to become the international guarantor for the peace process at the invitation of the Colombian government, “we have been very committed in the three previous rounds of talks, and our progress has been visible.”
The head of the Venezuelan diplomatic mission reiterated that the Venezuelan government is committed to host the necessary meetings and to make available the necessary resources for this negotiation to be successfully concluded. “We have hosted here the rounds of talks in November 2022 and in August 2023, in addition to the extraordinary meeting in January 2023,” Gil said, “and the Bolivarian government is committed to host whatever meetings are necessary.”
The minister for foreign affairs also stated that this negotiation process faces various threats, pitfalls, difficulties, and challenges:
One is typical of a negotiation between two parties in conflict, “which, as we have seen, are advancing in each of the negotiation cycles,” Gil noted, “and the idea is that they advance faster and faster, and each round is then given the expectation become a new opportunity to definitively achieve peace.”
The other element of threat and challenge facing this negotiation are the external agents who simply place obstacles to peace for interests that are totally alien to the interests of any side involved. “That is also an important challenge,” the minister stated, “and the guarantor countries, here together with the United Nations system and the Catholic Church, have been working fundamentally in mediating the process precisely and clearing that path.”
Gil remarked that Venezuela’s message in this fourth round that “We proceed with genuine, full satisfaction, and our commitment is to continue helping this to move forward,” Gil remarked. He added that Venezuela’s message in this fourth round is that “we are pleased to have achieved in this fourth round an important advancement in terms of humanitarian dynamics, in reducing the impact of the conflict on the population, and this is a fundamental victory.”
“Venezuela is very pleased as guarantor to have noted the commitment shown by both the Government of Colombia and the ELN delegation,” the minister said, “to definitively reach a peace agreement as soon as possible.”
Translation: Orinoco Tribune