Durkan travels to South America in wake of disappointing Colombian peace referendum result

Mark Durkan on a previous visit to Colombia.

Mark Durkan on a previous visit to Colombia.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan travelled to South America this week in the wake of the Colombian people’s rejection of a peace deal to end the 50-year conflict in the country.

Mr Durkan expressed disappointment after the proposed deal between the Colombian Government and FARC was rejected by 50.2 per cent of the electorate.

The local MP has been involved in peace talks in Colombia and Cuba over recent years and provided support and advice during the negotiations.

He said: “This is a deeply disappointing result and particularly frustrating when the parts of Columbia that have suffered most from this conflict voted overwhelmingly in favour of the peace deal.

“It will also frustrate many that polling stations did not stay open later to accommodate those affected by Hurricane Matthew.

“This narrow and regrettable result should not be the end of a valuable an important peace process.

“The leadership of both the Colombian Government and FARC are to be credited for committing to renewed dialogue to navigate a path forward from here.

“It might help if their key channels of negotiations were also complimented by wider and more inclusive dialogue involving a range of democratic and civil interests who do not want to see the prospects for peace and democratic rights for all in Columbia lost.”