The National Liberation Army of Colombia (ELN) and the Colombian government will continue negotiations in Cuba

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Source: Colombia Informa / The Dawn News / May 8, 2018

Discussions will resume next week between the peace delegations of the Colombian government and the National Liberation Army. This time, the headquarters will be in Cuba, one of the guarantor countries of this process.

Through a joint communiqué, the delegations of both the parties announced the news. They say that after analyzing the possible options to move the negotiations, they decided to opt for Cuba, the Caribbean country which also hosted the negotiations between the government and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The 5th cycle of dialogues between ELN and government was interrupted on April 18 by the order of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who in the midst of a hectic context within his country decided that Ecuador would not serve as a guarantor of this peace process.

Since the Agenda of the process was agreed upon and its methodology was agreed on in 2016, it was considered that the venues were going to be changed, that each cycle would be carried out in one of the guarantor countries. However, due to the stability and continuity of the table, the main headquarters had been in Ecuador.

Once Moreno’s announcement was known, multiple countries offered to shelter the table and ensure the continuation of the process: Chile, Germany, Norway, Venezuela, Cuba and Brazil were the options valued by the parties for their transfer.

Although it was rumored that Cuba was not among the first places to have the table with the FARC, finally because of the proximity, stability and political independence it was defined as a temporary headquarters. In this country the negotiations will be held at least until the end of the mandate of Juan Manuel Santos, while defining a new methodology and while the Colombian political panorama is defined with the new elected president.

In the remaining cycle, the main objectives of the parties are to agree on the necessary measures to negotiate a new ceasefire that will probably shelter the presidential elections (to be held next Sunday, May 27) and the definition of the Methodology of participation of the society in the negotiations.

This is the centre of the current peace process, to overcome political exclusion and strengthen democracy in Colombia.

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