His­toric peace ac­cord sign­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

Ira­nian-Cana­dian pro­fes­sor Homa Hood­far at Mus­cat airport, Oman, af­ter be­ing re­leased.

say­ing she was “barely able to walk or talk”.

Hood­far’s sup­port­ers had pressed diplo­mats to dis­cuss her case dur­ing the re­cent United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York. Cana­dian For­eign Min­is­ter Stephane Dion met with Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif on the side­lines of the meet­ing Wed­nes­day, state tele­vi­sion re­ported.

Canada has not had an em­bassy in Iran since 2012, when its then-Con­ser­va­tive-led gov­ern­ment cut diplo­matic ties over Tehran’s con­tested nu­clear pro­gramme and other is­sues. Cuba’s for­mer leader Fidel Cas­tro (right) talks with Ja­pan’s Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe (left) dur­ing a meet­ing in Ha­vana, Cuba. Abe is on a two-day of­fi­cial visit to Cuba. CARTA­GENA (AP): OLOMBIAN PRES­I­DENT Juan Manuel San­tos is cred­it­ing his time as a naval cadet for steel­ing him to en­dure four years of tense ne­go­ti­a­tions and strike a his­toric peace deal with the coun­try’s main guer­rilla group.

San­tos says it was that mil­i­tary train­ing that taught him the most im­por­tant things in life: “Strength, per­se­ver­ance – things that were use­ful, very use­ful, on the path to peace.”

He called the ac­cord a trib­ute to Colom­bia’s US-backed armed forces and their pur­suit of the rebels over the past decade, when sev­eral top rebel lead­ers were killed.

“What we are sign­ing today is your vic­tory,” he said.

San­tos spoke Mon­day to mil­i­tary of­fi­cers in Carta­gena, where he was a cadet many years ago, ahead of the sign­ing of the peace deal with the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia, or FARC.

He also presided over a minute of si­lence to hon­our the thou­sands of sol­diers killed in com­bat with the rebels.

United States Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry says Wash­ing­ton is pre­pared to re­view whether the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia, or FARC, should re­main on its des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion list af­ter a peace ac­cord with the Colom­bian gov­ern­ment is im­ple­mented.

Kerry says “we clearly are ready to re­view and make judge­ments as the facts come in”.

CPo­lice stand guard un­der flags hang­ing in Carta­gena, Colom­bia, yes­ter­day. Colom­bia’s gov­ern­ment and the FARC is to sign a peace agree­ment in Carta­gena to end over 50 years of con­flict late yes­ter­day, then Colom­bians will be given the fi­nal say on en­dors­ing or re­ject­ing the ac­cord in an Oc­to­ber 2 ref­er­en­dum.

He says in Carta­gena, Colom­bia, that the US will be watch­ing whether FARC rebels

rein­te­grate into so­ci­ety, dis­arm and em­brace the terms of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

Kerry adds that “we don’t want to leave peo­ple on the list if they don’t be­long”.

The US put the FARC on its ter­ror list in 1997.

TER­ROR BLACK­LIST

The European Union is set to re­move the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia, or FARC, from its ter­ror black­list as the rebels sign a peace treaty with the gov­ern­ment. EU for­eign pol­icy chief Fed­er­ica Mogherini says the bloc will re­move the guer­rilla group from its list of ter­ror groups in a ges­ture of sup­port for the peace process. That will open the door for Colom­bia to re­ceive $600 mil­lion in EU aid for post-con­flict re­fund­ing

The head of the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund is pre­dict­ing that Colom­bia’s peace ac­cord will be “ex­tremely pos­i­tive” for the coun­try’s econ­omy.

IMF Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Chris­tine La­garde says con­cerns over a pos­si­ble tax hike to pay for com­mit­ments laid out in the 297-page ac­cord may be overblown.

She told re­porters in the Caribbean city of Carta­gena that “peace is af­ford­able,” af­ter meet­ing with Colom­bia’s fi­nance min­is­ter on Mon­day.

La­garde un­der­scored that re­forms to al­low Colom­bia to main­tain fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity would have been needed re­gard­less of the peace deal be­cause of the im­pact of low oil prices on gov­ern­ment rev­enues.

AP PHO­TOS

AP

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