Bogota, November 14 (RHC)-- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has made an impassioned pitch to his country, calling on Colombians to embrace the new peace agreement reached between his government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which was signed over the weekend by the lead negotiators.
Santos said that the rejection of an earlier agreement in a plebiscite held last month was an opportunity to make a better agreement. He said: “This new agreement belongs to everyone because peace belongs to everyone.”
The Colombian president said that the renewed and adjusted agreement should unite the country, adding that it is time to leave behind the divisions.
Santos also described the new deal as a “strengthened” version of the previous deal. And he noted that the changes are aimed at addressing the concerns of those who voted against the deal, offering clarity where necessary and introducing some new elements to avoid any potential misunderstandings in the implementation phase.
The new deal also includes provisions to address the concerns of Colombia's business community. The deal explicitly recognizes the right of private property and makes mention of the need to “preserve macroeconomic stability.”
The new deal also clarifies questions regarding the “gender focus” of the agreement, many of those who voted against the agreement did so because they believed that it would promote a so-called gender ideology, which is fiercely opposed by religious leaders in Colombia.
The agreement maintains the need to give priority to women as victims of the conflict but explicitly states that it does not include a “gender ideology.”
Santos did not say if the new deal will be put to another vote, however he has hinted for weeks that the deal would instead be approved by the Congress.
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