Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday announced the appointment of seven new Cabinet ministers he said will be responsible for guiding the country toward peace and the post-conflict era.
The peace talks between the government and FARC guerrillas that started in November 2012 are expected to culminate this year in the signing of an accord ending more than five decades of conflict.
Last Friday, all the Cabinet ministers presented their resignations, as per protocol, so that the president can freely make an expected overhaul of the government over the coming weeks.
The new ministers include members of parties that are not part of the governing coalition, including the Conservatives, the Greens, the leftist Democratic Pole and the right-wing Party of the U.
“Colombia today is experiencing a very special moment: when we’re approaching peace, when the post-conflict is getting nearer with its challenges and opportunities, when we’re continuing to strengthen our economy, and reducing poverty and inequality,” Santos said.
He emphasized that the new Cabinet is comprised of people who, although they do not make up part of the government coalition with which Santos ran in the last election, have made the decision “to support the peace process.”
He went on to say that the new Cabinet will be responsible for the post-conflict phase.
“Therefore, (the Cabinet) will be made up of people from all regions, from all political strains, people who represent that diversity and that peace that is ... being reached in the territories, in every corner of our (country),” he said.