I strongly support the Colombian peace process. I hope that the negotiations under way in Havana, Cuba will bring an end to a long conflict in Colombia which has caused much suffering. I welcome the announcement on 16th May last that the negotiators in Havana have now reached provisional agreement on their agenda item dealing with illicit drugs. This means that three areas of the negotiations are now subject to provisional agreement: land reform, political participation and illicit drugs. As noted in the EU statement concerning the progress announced this month, the drugs trade has weakened political and social structures in Colombia for too long, fuelling insecurity and causing suffering. Dismantling the drugs economy will benefit the entire region and enable Colombia to reap the full advantages of peace and security. We are therefore encouraged by the reports of consensus reached on this important issue.
I wish the parties to the negotiations success in reaching agreement on the other items remaining on their agenda so that a final comprehensive peace agreement can be secured as soon as possible. Ireland will continue to follow closely developments on the Colombian peace process and to support a negotiated solution to the conflict in Colombia.