- Title: FranceÂ´s Hollande lays wreath at Simon Bolivar momument in historic state visit
- Date: 23rd January 2017
- Summary: SANTOS AND HOLLANDE SHAKING HANDS SANTOS AND HOLLANDE WALKING INSIDE HOLGUIN AND OTHER DELEGATES WALKING INSIDE AFTER SANTOS AND HOLLANDE
- Embargoed: 6th February 2017 16:43
- Keywords: Francois Hollande Colombia France Juan Manuel Santos Maria Angela Holguin peace
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00260AY6O7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:French President Francois Hollande laid a wreath at a monument to South American independence leader Simon Bolivar on Monday (January 23) in an historic state visit to Colombia where the dignitary will reinforce his support for the peace process underway.
Hollande was greeted by Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin at the BolivarÂ´s former residence, now the Quinta de Bolivar monument in ColombiaÂ´s capital, Bogota. His trip marks the first visit to Colombia by a French President since 1989, when HollandeÂ´s fellow Socialist, Francois Mitterand, met with his South American counterpart, Virgilio Barco.
Hollande was then received with military honours at the government palace by President Juan Manuel Santos, where he will sign agreements affirming his moral and financial support for Colombia's peace process.
France is a primary contributor, along with Germany, to a European Union fund backing the peace process underway to end a 52-year war between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Hollande will on Tuesday visit a transition zone in the northwest of the country, where FARC rebels will be transferred during the process of disarmament, in which the United Nations will take possession of all weapons held by the insurgent group before it remodels itself into a political party.
FARC commander Pastor Alape said in a recent news conference that HollandeÂ´s visit illustrates the international community acting to uphold its commitment to the peace process.
Hollande and Santos are also expected to sign diverse bilateral accords, spanning education, tourism, science and technology, defense and security.
Hollande, who currently maintains a four percent satisfaction rate among French voters, conceded recently that he would not run in France's upcoming presidential elections, which are widely expected to go to the right or far-right.
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