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EU to 'suspend' Colombia's FARC from terror list: Foreign policy chief

The decision will take effect on the signature of the Peace Agreement. In photo: A member of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla, keeps watch at their camp on September 26, 2016 Photograph: (AFP)

AFP Brussels, Belgium Sep 26, 2016, 07.24 PM (IST)
The European Union has decided to "suspend" Colombia's FARC rebel group from its terror group list, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced on Monday.

In a statement, Mogherini said the EU would "suspend FARC from its list of terrorist organisations. This decision will take effect upon the signature of the Peace Agreement." 

The Colombian government and the leftist FARC rebels were scheduled to sign their historic peace agreement at 2200 GMT Monday in a ceremony in the colonial city of Cartagena.

The suspension will allow the temporary lifting of sanctions against FARC, including the freezing of its assets. FARC was added to the EU terror list in 2002. 

"We are ready to continue our support, focusing on the implementation of the agreement," Mogherini said, adding that the EU was also ready to activate a 600-million-euro package to support the peace deal. 

"Today peace is in the hands of the Colombian people," she said. 

"An endorsement of the agreement would send positive shockwaves through the continent and the entire world. It would send a message of reconciliation. It would send the powerful message that all conflicts can come to an end."

Earlier, a diplomatic source said the sanctions would be suspended for an initial period of six months, after which they would be reviewed.

On Sunday, the EU's Colombia envoy Ana Paula Zacarias said the guerrilla group could be definitively removed from the blacklist after a six-month review process in which the bloc could have "political dialogue with guerrilla members".

FARC, a Marxist guerrilla group, launched its war on the Colombian government in 1964.

(AFP)
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