Παρασκευή, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Colombia gov't delays ELN peace talks until prisoner freed

With talks officially set to begin Thursday between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the Minister of the Interior, Juan Fernando Cristo, said that the talks would only proceed should the ELN free former congressman, Odín Sánchez.


"The negotiators will not travel (to the talks) until we have certainty (of his liberation). If the start cannot happen today, the government is ready to do it tomorrow or Saturday, in the moment we have confirmation of the liberation," said Cristo at a press conference.

President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter on Thursday night that he had not formally assigned negotiators for the talks with the ELN in Ecuador, since Sanchez had not been freed.

According to Cristo, the decision taken by the president is that until Sanchez is safe and sound with his family, the negotiations will not begin.

The opening ceremony, which had been planned for 5pm at the Capilla del Hombre museum in Quito, has now been suspended.

The negotiating team, led by Juan Camilo Restrepo, a former minister, is poised to leave once the liberation is confirmed. On Twitter, the ELN confirmed its team had arrived in Quito on Wednesday but gave no news about Sanchez' release.
 [Xinhua/globaltimes.cn]
28/10/16
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