Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende issued a statement on Thursday claiming it was “extremely positive that the peace agreement in Colombia has now finally been approved by the country’s national assembly.” Norway played a key role in facilitating the peace talks between Colombia’s government and the guerrilla group FARC, to end 52 years of armed conflict that cost more than 200,000 lives.
Brende noted that now the peace pact can take effect, two months after it was initially rejected by a slim margin in a public referendum. Both sides resumed talks to modify the agreement and it was taken to the national assembly without asking the people’s direct approval this time.
“Now it’s important that everyone who wants an end to the lengthy conflict to supports (the peace pact),” Brende stated. “In the demanding phase Colombia will now enter, we will, from the Norwegian side, continue our contribution.” He said Norway would take part in the commission following up the agreement, to make sure it’s implemented, while the civilian society and human rights organizations will also play a key role.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will be in Oslo next week, to accept the Nobel Peace Prize he won for his role in the peace process.