Columbian leader Juan Manuel Santos says “Peace is close” in his country’s decades long-war with Marxist FARC rebels.
The message was carried on Twitter where the President announced that, on the way to New York, he would be stopping over in Havana for a key meeting with negotiators trying to end the conflict.
Haré escala en La Habana para reunión clave con negociadores con el fin de acelerar el fin del conflicto. La paz está cerca.— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) 23 Septembre 2015
Cuba has been hosting peace talks since 2012 but this will be President’s first trip there in person to participate.
It is thought he will meet FARC leader Timoleon Jiménez amid reports that two sides have reached a deal on the punishment rebels would face as part of a settlement.
Negotiators have already reached partial accords on land reform, political participation for ex-rebels and an end to the illegal drugs trade.
Latin America’s longest insurgency has killed some 220,000 people and displaced millions over more than 50 years.
During his visit to Cuba, Pope Francis on Sunday urged an end to what he called “the long night of pain and violence”.
Pope Francis begged Colombia and a rebel army to end their long-running conflict http://t.co/kH8Z2fOsZZ— TIME.com (@TIME) 20 Septembre 2015