Pope invites Colombia’s Santos and Uribe to Vatican


BOGOTA: Pope Francis has invited President Juan Manuel Santos and his predecessor Alvaro Uribe to the Vatican on Friday, Colombian officials said, in an apparent bid to strengthen the government’s peace accord with FARC rebels. Uribe led opposition to the agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), ratified last month after an earlier version was voted down in a referendum in October. “The Vatican has organized an audience of the Pope, Santos and Uribe,” a spokesman for the Colombian presidency said Thursday of the meeting apparently aimed at reconciling the two former allies. “The president is aware of this and agreed.” Santos, on tour in Europe after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Saturday, was already set to meet the pope on Friday. Uribe, now a senator, told Congress on Thursday that he had been invited at the last minute and that he would try to arrive in time for the meeting. “If I don’t arrive in time, it won’t be intentional, but because of a lack of time,” he told legislators. It was not clear whether he had boarded a flight to Rome.



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