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Last Updated:6/22/01
Communiquè From The National Government About The Process With The Eln, May 22, 2001

Bogotá, D.C., May 22 2001 (ANCOL)-

Following is the text of the communiquè issued by the National Government related with the dialogue process with the National Liberation Army (ELN):

PRESS COMMUNIQUÈ

1. In a Monday, May 21 letter the National Liberation Army expressed its unilateral decision to keep the suspension on the dialogues with the National Government, although our insistence on resolving all the difficulties that have come up during the conversation process with this guerrilla organization.

2. According to the ELN, the Government´s proposal doesn´t respond to the ELN worries related to the establishment of a date to initiate the Encounter Zone, the implementation of an offensive against the illegal right wing militias or the delivery of compensations in response to the fumigation of illegal crops of coca farmers in the region.

3. Nevertheless, the Government offer responds to all and each one of their worries. The Government proposal consists, in its basic structure, in the establishment of the Zone once our worries about the security of the region and the reinitiating of dialogues are specified along with a process of gradual withdrawal of the Public Force once the Verification Committee, conformed according to the agreed regulations, determines that the security conditions for the withdrawal of the Public Force are given. The proposal is intended, in an incremental way, to assure areas where a tranquil negotiation and dialogue can take place and that allow the communities of the South of Bolivar to acclimatize to the process and that authorize the armies action in its fight against the illegal right wing militias without endangering the negotiation with the ELN.

Likewise, it has been clear that the National Government ahs been working with the communities in a humanitarian emergency aide plan of more than $1800 million pesos; in the design of a crop substitution plan of more than $8000 millions and in investments in infrastructure. All of these reaches US$10 million, appropriated and in implementation .

As it can be seen, the Government`s proposal looks exclusively for the viability, effectiveness and reliability of the dialogue process with this organization because beyond the capacity of the President to determine in an act the Encounter Zone, we understand that peace is a process that needs to be constructed on the basis of dialogue and consensus.

4. It is unfortunate for the National Government that once more the ELN chooses to distance itself from the joint search for political solutions to the armed conflict, pointing out the National Government as the exclusive responsible for the luck of the process. To our judgment, ELN cannot approach the peace process as a judge but as a part co-responsible in its success or failure.

5. On our part and following the ethical compromise of the Colombian State, we will continue keeping the political decision of looking for peace intact. This, through the mechanism that less cost has in human lives, which is the instrument of dialogue.

6. For this reason and after talking with the ELN today we have agreed to ask the Group of Country Friends for their good work at looking for alternatives to surpass the obstacles that present today again.

Consequently, a meeting between the Ambassadors and the ELN negotiators will be carried out in the next days.

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