Colombia says peace talks represent hope for world

United Nations, Sep 30 (IANS) Colombia’s peace talks represent a light of hope for the world, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said at the UN General Assembly.

“Our talks with the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas… offer a light of hope in a world overshadowed by war violence, and terrorism,” Xinhua quoted Santos as saying on Tuesday.

The Colombian government and the rebel FARC have agreed upon a deadline for signing the agreement that will bring an end to the-half-century-old armed conflict in the country, he said.

“It will be signed on March 23, 2016, that means in less than six months from now,” he added.

The peace deal, he added, will also help Colombia to free itself from the coca plant. The guerrilla forces will begin to help eradicate the illegal crops rather than protecting them, said Santos.

Santos also expressed thanks to the international community for “their support of our peace efforts”.

Over the past 50 years, an estimated 220,000 people have been killed and more than six million others displaced in the civil war.

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