Caracas, (EFE).- The peace delegations of the Government of Colombia and the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN) reported this Saturday, from Caracas, that they will discuss the possibility of a bilateral ceasefire as of February 13 , when the second cycle of the dialogue that began in Venezuela last November will start in Mexico.
“In this cycle, the issue of the participation of society in the construction of peace will be addressed. Simultaneously, they will begin to discuss and agree on a bilateral ceasefire,” says the joint statement read at the end of an extraordinary meeting that was held to resolve differences on the use or not of violence during the negotiations.
The parties, the letter continues, “appreciate the understanding of the media for respecting the confidentiality that is required on some issues and their willingness to disseminate the achievements, scope and overcoming of difficulties” in this process.
Likewise, the dialogue table has underlined “the frankness and depth of the discussion process” and agreed to “maintain the communication mechanisms during the periods in which it is not meeting.”
The table “values all the proposals, criticisms, suggestions, demands and initiatives coming from Colombian society for a good development of this process,” the statement added.
The representatives of the Government and the guerrillas arrived in Caracas on Tuesday in search of a “lasting peace” that would allow the crisis caused after President Gustavo Petro to announce a bilateral ceasefire that was denied days later by the ELN.
Regarding the issues to be discussed in the next round, they announced that they will include the participation of society in the construction of peace and the possibility of a bilateral ceasefire, a matter without agreements so far.
The delegations thanked Venezuela for “the hospitality and careful effort in coordinating all activities for the good success of the talks” and “appreciate the willingness” of Mexico to host the second cycle of the dialogue.
Likewise, they reiterated their recognition to the other guarantor countries (Cuba, Chile and Norway), as well as to the accompanying persons, including the Episcopal Conference of Colombia and the United Nations (UN).