UN chief encourages Colombia to stay the course for peace

UNITED NATIONS (AP) " U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is encouraging both sides in the Colombian peace process to stay the course despite a referendum rejecting the peace treaty last week.

Ban spoke Monday by telephone with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and congratulated him on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In a separate call, he spoke to Commander Timoleon Jimenez, leader of the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, commending him for his flexibility.

"The Secretary-General welcomed the parties' continued commitment to maintain the cease-fire, the commitment to the adoption of a protocol to prevent any incidents," Ban's office said in a statement.

It added: "These measures will certainly help create a favorable environment for the political discussions that we hope will lead to a successful conclusion of the peace process."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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