EU suspends FARC from terror list, while US prefers more cautious approach | News | DW | 26.09.2016
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EU suspends FARC from terror list, while US prefers more cautious approach

The temporary suspension could become permanent if the peace deal between the Colombian government and the rebel group is successful. President Juan Santos and FARC leaders were to sign a historic peace accord on Monday.

The European Union said it would temporarily suspend the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) from its list of terror groups after the rebel faction signs a historic peace accord with Colombia's Government on Monday.

Federica Mogherini, the EU Foreign Policy Chief, said in a statement that "this decision will take effect upon the signature of the Peace Agreement."

 "We are ready to continue our support, focusing on the implementation of the agreement," Mogherini said. She also announced that the EU will activate a 600-million-euro support package following the peace deal.

The suspension means that the EU will also temporarily lift sanctions imposed against the FARC group. This will allow the group access funding and financial assets that were frozen after it was added to the terror list in 2002.

The 28-nation bloc's ambassador in Bogota, Ana Paula Zacarias, also told local broadcast RCN television on Sunday that "It could be possible to delist FARC completely at a later point."

Speaking to the AFP news agency, an anonymous diplomatic source said that the sanctions wiould be reviewed after six months. Only after that would permanently delisting the FARC be discussed.

US hesitant to delist FARC from own terror list

The US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States was not yet ready to remove the FARC from its list of terrorist groups. However, he confirmed that the matter would be reviewed once the peace accord is fully implemented.

"We clearly are prepared to review and make judgments about that as the facts come in," Kerry told reporters in Cartagena, Colombia, where the peace accord is scheduled to be signed. "We're deeply invested in success. We don't want to leave people on a list, if they don't belong on a list."

The Colombian government has asked the US to delist the FARC since it struck a peace deal with the rebel faction in August.

The US added the FARC to its list of terror groups in 1997. The EU, by contrast, only added the FARC group to its list of terror organizations in 2002, having only created the list in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.

dm/kms (AFP, AP)