Annan voices deep concern as peace talks in Colombia near breakdown

A statement released by Mr. Annan’s spokesman at UN Headquarters in New York reiterated the Secretary-General’s position that the only way to resolve the conflict was through a negotiated settlement.“The prize of peace is so great and the cost of war so terrible, that he urges the parties to make every possible effort to find a solution to the current crisis and return to good faith negotiations,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said. “At this time of increased tension, he is particularly concerned about the safety of civilians and calls for all possible measures to be taken to protect them.” The Secretary-General’s Acting Special Adviser on Colombia, James LeMoyne, is currently in the country at the request of the parties and is consulting with them to support efforts to maintain the peace talks, Mr. Eckhard added.