President Michael D Higgins begins second part of South America visit

President Michael D Higgins is today beginning the second part of his official visit to South America with a visit to the Colombian capital Bogota.

Later on this week, he will go to Havana, Cuba where he will meet with President Raul Castro.

President Higgins will be the first ever head of state of another country to visit a FARC guerrilla demobilisation zone in North Colombia.

The Colombian government recently signed a new peace deal with the FARC aimed at ending five decades of armed conflict, which has killed more than 260,000 people.

It provides for decommissioning of weapons and for FARC rebels will to provide exhaustive information about any drug trafficking they may have been involved in.

The President's visit is also the first ever by an Irish President and is aimed at highlighting the strong bilateral relationship between Ireland and Colombia, as well as Ireland's strong engagement with the peace process in the country.


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