Papal Nuncio Joins in Colombia Peace Talks

BOGOTA, Colombia, MAR. 8, 2001 ( The apostolic nuncio in Colombia is participating in the meeting of delegates from 26 countries who are analyzing the peace process under way between the government and a guerrilla group.

Meetings are being held in a neutral zone in the south between government negotiators and the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC).

Explaining his attendance at the discussions, the nuncio, Archbishop Beniamino Stella, said: “Everywhere the Church goes, she speaks her own language, which is the language of charity, reconciliation and justice; this is the Church´s role and the nuncio´s.”

The government and FARC have been holding peace talks since October 1999. Last month they decided to call a meeting of international delegates to explain the progress made to date.

The international meeting taking place in Los Pozos is the second such event being held in the demilitarized zone since last June, when there was an exchange of views on the environment and the eradication of the cultivation of coca and poppies, prime sources of cocaine and heroin.

The United States has officially declined to participate in the meeting.

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