Pope meets with Colombian leaders to discuss peace accord with FARC rebels
December 16, 2016
Pope Francis met on December 16 with Colombia’s president and with the leader of the country’s main opposition party, to speak about the prospects for final approval of a peace agreement with FARC rebels.
The Pope had been scheduled to meet with President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, who was in Europe to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating an end to the country’s long civil war. In an unexpected development, the Pope then met privately with Alvaro Uribe Velez, the former president who nows leads Colombia’s opposition. Next the Pontiff brought the two Colombian leaders together to discuss the peace agreement.
The unusal meeting was evidently arranged to ensure that Colombia’s major political parties would work together to ensure ratification of a peace deal. An earlier agreement was rejected by a popular referendum.
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- The Pope receives the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, and former president, Senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez (Vatican press office)
- Pope brings Colombian leaders to Vatican to save FARC deal (AP)
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