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Gustavo Petro was sworn in this Sunday as president of Colombia, after winning the second round elections held on June 19, and gave his first speech as president. Alexa Rochi / AL DÍA
Gustavo Petro was sworn in on Sunday as president of Colombia, after winning the second round elections held on June 19, and gave his first speech as president. Photo: Alexa Rochi / AL DÍA

Colombian President to restart negotiations with ELN guerrillas

The announcement was made by Gustavo Petro after a meeting at the government palace with Gabriel Boric, President of Chile.

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Peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) were interrupted during the government of Iván Duque, which ended on Aug. 7, but are set to restart under President Gustavo Petro.

One of the details to be resolved has to do with whether or not the talks will be held in Havana, where several of the ELN negotiators are located.

"We have talked about peace, Chile is a guarantor country according to the protocols of the Santos government, in the negotiations that were finally established in Havana, Cuba, and we hope that Chile will continue to be a guarantor country, in those peace processes that are about to restart," said Petro.

He also added: "We would start from the point that was interrupted four years ago, we had a government that advanced it with a strong internal discussion, achieved successes with the FARC, but it must be complemented, the agreement has not been fulfilled, it must be done with an agrarian reform."

He indicated that the dialogue with the ELN was interrupted by Duque's government, and recognizes the diplomatic and international protocols for the dialogues. He also mentioned Ecuador and Cuba, where there were movements for dialogues, but the ELN leaders remained in Cuba.

Although Petro wants the talks to continue in Havana, Cuba, he explained that if there is a change in the country for the talks, both parties have to reach an agreement.

"A change of the geographic site of the negotiations, depends on those who want to negotiate, not the government, they are in Cuba (ELN), we will know in the coming weeks if they continue in Cuba, the government that followed Santos, (Duque government), wanted to make the commitment of that country an international political problem and take that country to the list of terrorists, we do not want that now, we are some suspensive points," Petro said.

Before taking office as president of Colombia, Petro made it clear to the Cuban government that he would continue to host peace talks with the ELN guerrillas once the process was reactivated.

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