OSLO – The President of Colombia on Friday said that his recent Nobel Peace Prize win was a “gift fallen from heaven” and a “tremendous boost” for the peace talks to end the country’s decades-long civil war.
Juan Manuel Santos is set to be presented his award on Saturday in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, a city in which the South American dignitary arrived early on Friday.
“It was like a gift from above. It was of great help for me, the negotiators and for the entire Colombian people,” Santos said at a Nobel Institute press conference.
Santos stressed that the peace with the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) was “an impossible dream” a few years ago and that the main challenge now was for the State to coordinate the agreement’s implementation “as soon as possible.”
“The main guarantee is the Colombians’ support, and I believe it will increase when they see the benefits of the accord,” Santos said.
He added he felt “very happy and honored” as recipient of the prestigious prize, which he is set to accept in the name of all Colombians, especially the victims of the conflict.
Santos arrived in Oslo with a retinue of 30 special guests, including victims and members of the negotiating team.
Conspicuously absent, however, were any FARC representatives.
He explained that he didn’t want to “create problems” for the Norwegian government, as the European Union and the United States still label the FARC as a terrorist group.
Santos did say that the rebels “will be here in heart and spirit.”
He added that the Colombian peace process could serve as an example for other conflict-ridden nations.
“Nothing is impossible. If there’s the will to reach an agreement, it can be done; you only have to create the necessary conditions,” Santos said.