Statement by Secretary John Kerry on Colombia Peace Accord

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters during a news conference in Tel Aviv after meetings in Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on December 6, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

The United States welcomes yesterday’s vote by the Colombian congress – by a substantial margin – to approve the peace accord negotiated between the Colombian Government and the FARC, an accord that we believe will help achieve a just and lasting peace for all Colombians.

Under the accord, the FARC will demobilize, disarm, and form a political organization that will participate in Colombia’s democratic system.

The Colombian people deserve enormous credit for their persistence, commitment, and focus in this endeavor. Special recognition must go to President Juan Manuel Santos, who has earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

We recognize that there are those who have concerns about the agreement.
We urge them to continue their principled commitment to peace in the coming implementation phase.

As Vice President Joe Biden will underscore shortly in Cartagena, the United States supported Colombia in times of conflict and will continue to support Colombia in times of peace.

Our Paz Colombia initiative, aimed at supporting continued institutional development, aiding conflict victims, removing landmines, combating narcotics, and addressing remaining security issues, is designed to assist our Colombian partners achieve the lasting peace that they have fought so hard for, and that they so richly deserve.