NEW YORK, At their meeting in New York on Friday, the head of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) praised Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for achieving a breakthrough in peace talks between the Colombian government and the rebel guerrilla group FARC. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder told Santos: “We congratulate you wholeheartedly on this major achievement, and we sincerely hope that in the next months, you will be able to conclude an agreement that will not just bring peace and stability to Colombia and its people, but will also serve as a blueprint for other parts of the world in which peace has so far been elusive.”
“President Santos has our support in this endeavour. Trying to make peace requires courage and bold action, and of course it also requires a partner on the other side who chooses dialogue over violence and confrontation. We hope that through his actions, President Santos will be able to show the world how even long-standing conflicts can be resolved peacefully through negotiations,” the Lauder declared after the meeting.
The 50-old conflict has so far claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. At the same time, the Colombian leader had always maintained the need to do justice to the victims of the conflict and not to cede any ground to terrorists or grant them impunity.
During their encounter, Santos and Lauder also discussed developments in the Middle East, and other aspects such as the situation of Jews in Latin America.
Lauder thanked Santos for his steadfast support for the State of Israel, and to the 5,000-strong Jewish community of Colombia.
President Santos was in New York for high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly. Santos and Lauder had previously met in 2011 and 2012.
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