– Norway welcomes the announcement from Bogota that direct talks are to be held between the Colombian Government and FARC-EP, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre.
– It takes courage to seek peace. I would like to commend the parties for entering into a dialogue that could bring an end to the protracted armed conflict in Colombia. As the parties have requested assistance from Norway to find a peaceful solution, we have signalled our willingness to assist, Mr Støre says.
Today it was announced that the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP will meet for talks in Oslo in the first half of October.
– A great responsibility rests on the parties to find a solution to the conflict, which has caused so much suffering and the loss of so many lives. In the phase they are about to enter, they will face major challenges. We share the hopes of the Colombian people that a peaceful solution is within reach, says Mr Støre.
Together with Cuba, Norway has helped to facilitate the secret talks that have taken place in Havana over the last six months. The role as facilitator has involved fostering a good and secure environment for the talks and building confidence between the parties.
– We have acted as facilitator on the request of both parties. Norway will do its best to continue to assist the parties in the time ahead. We look forward to receiving the parties in Oslo, Mr Støre said.
Norway is engaged in peace and reconciliation processes in a number of countries and regions, with a view to contributing to the prevention and resolution of armed conflicts. We assess our ability to make a difference before becoming involved in peace and reconciliation efforts.
Spokesperson on duty: Veslemøy Lothe Salvesen, +47 995 68 584