Annan welcomes accord between Government and rebels in Colombia

The accord, signed yesterday by President Pastrana and Commander Marulanda, leader of the FARC-EP, “provides for the negotiation of a cease-fire, an end to hostilities, and ways to stop the violence by all sides, including by the paramilitary,” a spokesman for the Secretary-General said in a statement. The spokesman reiterated Mr. Annan’s view that only negotiated and verifiable accords can address the social and political causes of the conflict and that there is no military solution to Colombia’s 40-year conflict. Mr. Annan urged the parties to continue rebuilding confidence, and considered the adoption of a humanitarian accord to reduce the suffering of the civilian population to be “essential,” his spokesman said. Mr. Annan also thanked regional leaders, the 10 facilitating countries and the Catholic Church for “the invaluable support” they have extended to his good offices and to his Acting Special Adviser, James LeMoyne. At the request of the parties involved, Mr. LeMoyne will continue his facilitation efforts, the spokesman said.

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