BRUSSELS – The European Union has “suspended” the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, from its list of terrorist organizations, the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, announced.
The EU foreign policy chief said the decision was reached Monday by the European Council and that she considered the signing of the peace accord as good news for the country, for the Colombian people and for everyone.
“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,” Mogherini said in a statement.
She added that the EU is “ready to continue our support, focusing on the implementation of the agreement” following the planned referendum on the peace accord, and is prepared to provide an aid package of close to 600 million euros ($675 million), to which many member nations will contribute in support of the peace process.
“Today peace is in the hands of the Colombian people. 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,” Mogherini said.
The FARC is not yet eliminated once and for all from the list, on which it was included following the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the United States on Sept. 9, 2001, but the suspension does permit the temporary lifting of sanctions linked to its presence on that list, which includes the freezing of its assets and a ban on its access to funds.
Final removal from the terrorist list “will take effect upon the signature of the Peace Agreement,” Mogherini said.
The EU terrorist list includes individuals and groups that act inside or outside EU territory and is regularly revised by the European Council (an institution in which the 28 member governments are represented), or at least once every six months.