UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday welcomed a temporary cease-fire between the Colombian government and the rebel National Liberation Army (ELN).
"The secretary-general expresses the hope that the agreement, announced yesterday in Quito, Ecuador, will improve conditions for the civilian population in conflict areas and offer opportunities for substantial progress in the peace talks between the parties," said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres' spokesman, in a statement.
The secretary-general commends the role of the guarantors -- Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Norway and Venezuela -- in support of the negotiations, as well as the important role of the Catholic Church. He reiterates the support of the United Nations toward all efforts that contribute to lasting peace in Colombia.
The temporary cease-fire, effective from Oct. 1, 2017 to Jan. 12, 2018, followed on-and-off talks between the two parties since early 2000s. Peace talks between the government and the ELN took center stage after the successful disarmament of the country's largest armed group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which had similar ideology with the ELN.