VATICAN CITY – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos urged his political rival on Friday to collaborate with the peace deal struck with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and the incumbent Santos held meetings with Pope Francis at the pontiff’s official Apostolic Palace residence in the Vatican City.
“I told ex-president Uribe that we are always prepared ... to continue discussions and strike a deal on how we are to implement this peace treaty,” Santos told the press following a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Earlier, opposition chief Uribe urged Santos to be open to the idea of modifying certain “delicate agreements and themes that he (Santos) had not previously wished to reform.”
Speaking to the media upon leaving the papal palace, Uribe said there could be no hate in the battle for democracy, but that one must stick to one’s convictions.
Santos won the 2016 Nobel Peace prize for the ceasefire accord struck between the government and the FARC guerrilla group.
On Oct. 3, Colombian voters rejected the treaty when its ratification was passed to a referendum.
Peace talks between Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, commonly known as “Timochenko,” were continuing despite the referendum setback.
According to a Vatican statement, Pope Francis highlighted the importance of “dialogue between all sectors of Colombian society in this historic moment.”
Santos was the first of the pair to meet with the Pope, but all three later held a joint meeting in the library of the papal palace.