After half a century of war and thousands of people killed and millions displaced, Colombia's government has reached a peace agreement with the FARC rebels.
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The EU's High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini welcomed the deal stating: "The announcement of a final peace agreement today in Havana between the FARC-EP and the Government of Colombia is reason for celebration. It is an historic and unique opportunity for peace in Colombia, which follows a long negotiation requiring great political will and perseverance."
Mogherini said she had spoken to President Santos on the phone and he had informed her of developments. She paid tribute to his "political leadership and vision" as well as to the "negotiating teams, to Cuba and Norway as guarantors, as well as to Venezuela and Chile as facilitating countries."
Mogherini went on to outline the next steps: "It is now for the Colombian people to decide on their own future through the plebiscite. Many challenges lie ahead in the implementation of the agreement, which should pave the way for lasting peace in the country and be based on genuine national reconciliation and justice. It should also bring truth and reparations to the victims, who have endured so much loss and pain throughout the years of conflict."
The High Representative reiterated political support for the process: "The European Union has supported Colombia since the beginning of the peace process and will continue to stand by it during the post-conflict phase. I want to personally express all our support to the political courage which is needed to make peace and guarantee to Colombia that the European Union will continue to be at its side in this historic process."
Mogherini also recalled her visit to Bogota in May she held talks with President Santos and pledged practical support to Colombia and its people saying: "The EU will provide support to the implementation of the peace process with an overall package of €575 million. Together with the Government we are already preparing new projects, which include peace education in the context of the Peace Agreement."