EU ready to help Colombia peace efforts

A member of the FARC guards the mountainous region of the department of Cauca on February 15, 2013The European Union said Tuesday it is ready to provide “concrete assistance” to Colombia to help implement any peace accord it can reach with FARC rebels after 50 years of bloody conflict. Talks between the centre-right government of President Jose Manuel Santos and the Marxist-inspired FARC have so far produced three tentative accords out of five outlined in an overall peace deal. These include cooperation on ending the drug trade — a major source of finance — agricultural reforms and FARC’s future as a conventional political group in the country. “I want to stress that the EU will continue to lend its support to the negotiations,” European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said after meeting Santos in Brussels.

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