Kerry may visit Colombia to give boost to peace talks

Kerry may visit Colombia 'depending on how events flow' to meet with representatives of peace talks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos with US Secretary of State John Kerry in October 2015.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that he may pay a visit to Colombia to meet with the representatives of Colombian peace talks in the upcoming days "depending on how events flow."

"There's still some difficult issues to resolve in the context of the agreement, and we're encouraging that process," Kerry said during budget negotiations in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Colombian government and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerilllas have been in negotiations to end the half a century long armed conflict, which claimed the lives of at least 250,000 people.

In September 2015, the Colombian government and FARC agreed to reach a peace deal within six months to end the decades long fighting in the country.

The effort to end Colombia's long civil war were thrown into disarray last week when rebel negotiators appeared in public escorted by armed and uniformed guerrillas. 

Colombian FARC leftist guerrillas pose for a photo in the village of El Conejo, La Guajira, Colombia, on February 18, 2016.

In images posted on social media and released by local media, the FARC leaders appeared in civilian clothing accompanied by armed fighters in uniform.

President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended visits to Colombia by FARC negotiators saying they breached an agreement that allowed them in to explain to their fighters agreements reached during peace talks in Cuba.

"This was an unacceptable violation," chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle said, speaking from the Narino presidential palace in Bogota.

Cuba and Norway, the two countries sponsoring the talks, said on Wednesday the negotiations were back on track.

TRTWorld and agencies