The first peace talks between the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) started today in Quito, Ecuador. The plan established for the initial phase involves talks that will run for 45 days
The ceremony took place in the afternoon in the capital’s Chapel of Man, a monument built by renowned local painter Oswaldo Guayasamin as a tribute to humanity.
The two sides of the conflict, as well as representatives of the guarantor countries (Ecuador, Venezuela and Norway) and accompanying states (Chile, Cuba and Brazil) are expected to participate in the meeting.
The top representative of the delegation of the Colombian government will be the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Juan Camilo Restrepo, appointed by President, Juan Manuel Santos, while commander Pablo Beltran will lead the ELN negotiations.
After the establishment of talks today, the two sides will meet again on November 3rd in a house lent by the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, in the Valle de los Chillos, located in the south-eastern region of Quito.
The plan established for the initial phase involves talks that will run for 45 days.
To reach this point, exploratory talks have been held for three years and only in March 2016 did the government and the guerrillas reveal, in Caracas, Venezuela, the end of this secret phase and sign an agreement for peace talks, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long revealed recently during a news conference.
The final date for the beginning of the discussions was established on October 10th, the Foreign Minister stated.