UN Secretary General arrives in Cuba

Ban Ki-moon will attend the signing ceremony of historic agreement between Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels

Baku. 23 June. REPORT.AZ/ United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have arrived in Havana ahead of the signing of an historic agreement between Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels.

Report informs, the two sides are slated to sign an agreement to end hostilities with a definitive ceasefire today.

After more than three years of fraught talks in the Cuban capital, the agreement brings into sight an end to a conflict that began as a 1960s peasant revolt before exploding into a cocaine-fuelled war that has killed at least 220,000 people and displaced millions.

The accord will be signed in Havana by President Juan Manuel Santos and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebel leader Rodrigo Londono, better known by his nom de guerre Timochenko.

The agreement would leave the two sides just a step away from resolving the longest-running conflict in the western hemisphere.

The ceasefire, which includes terms for the FARC's demobilisation, laying down of arms, and security for former fighters, does not begin until the final deal is signed.

Half-way through his second term and staking his legacy on peace, the 64-year-old president has said a deal would add as much as two percentage points annually to economic growth.

"The peace deal will only further add to the sense that this is a completely new Colombia than the Colombia of 20 years ago," he added.

Mr Ban and Mr Maduro were expected to attend the signing ceremony along with Cuban President Raul Castro and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

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