Breaking News: Spain Offers Itself to Host Dialogues Between Colombia and the ELN

Pedro Sánchez, President of the Spanish Government, Offered his Country as the venue for the Peace Talks Between Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

Pedro Sánchez, President of Spain

Photo: TW-sanchezcastejon

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Última Hora: España se ofrece como sede de diálogos entre Colombia y el ELN

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, proposed his country as the venue for the peace talks between the Colombian Government and the ELN guerrillas. This occured during his visit to the South American country, the European head of government becomes the second president to make an official visit to the recently inaugurated Gustavo Petro (after Gabriel Boric of Chile). During his stay in coffee lands, the Spanish president expressed his support for the rapprochement between the Petro administration and the guerrilla group for the sake of a peace agreement.

"We offer ourselves to the Colombian Government to help in everything that I believe is common sense to achieve peace and, therefore, if these peace talks can be hosted in Spain, we would be willing to host them," said the Iberian leader to the station W radio of Colombia.

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In this way, Gustavo Petro finds more allies and partners in his proposal to initiate exploratory dialogues to establish a table of agreements between the last active guerrilla in the country and his administration. For the new South American president, his total peace (Paz Total) proposal indispensably requires the participation of one of the main illegal armed groups in Colombian territory.

However, currently there is already an approximation between both parties. Under the orders of President Gustavo Petro, a delegation led by Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva Durán traveled to Havana to resume talks with the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel to use the island as a venue for talks with the ELN. The Caribbean country had already been the headquarters between the Colombian Government and the National Liberation Army, until President Iván Duque left the table in January 2019, after an attack by the guerrilla group on the General Santander Military School in Bogotá, leaving 22 cadets dead.

It would be the first time that a leftist guerrilla group has an ideologically close government as its counterpart. The previous peace processes with the guerrillas of the M-19 and the FARC, their interlocutors were the governments of Virgilio Barco (Liberal) and Juan Manuel Santos (Center Right).