BOGOTA (AFP) – US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas Friday to make faster progress in peace talks and said the United States would try to help.
The two sides resumed talks this week after a crisis triggered by the leftist rebels’ capture of an army general on November 16.
Kerry warned that further delays would only complicate the two-year-old peace negotiations, the most promising effort yet to end the 50-year-old conflict.
“The longer it takes, the harder it will be,” he told journalists after meeting with two government peace negotiators and President Juan Manuel Santos during a visit to Colombia.
“He (Santos) specifically said to me that it’s important to emphasize the issue of time, and the reason is that talks in any negotiation just can’t go on interminably,” Kerry said. “It’s important to accelerate.”
He said the Colombian leader has asked the United States – a vocal supporter of the talks – for help reaching a timely deal.