COLOMBIAN President Juan Manuel Santos will visit Tipperary later this year to receive the International Peace Award.
Organisers of the award have said they chose Santos as this year’s recipient because of his efforts in bringing peace to Colombia and for the historic agreement that put an end to more than 50 years of fighting by the FARC guerrilla army.
The announcement was made earlier today by Tipperary Peace Convention through its Honorary Secretary, Mr Martin Quinn.
According to the Tipperary Star, President Santos has confirmed that he will travel to Tipperary to accept the award.
His office released the following statement: “I was pleased to make an official visit to Belfast in November 2016, a couple of weeks before the Colombian Peace Agreement came into effect. Ireland has been and continues to be an inspiration for countries trying to pursue their own peace processes.
“Certainly, the success of the Northern Ireland peace process is a constant reminder of what is possible. It clearly demonstrates the dividends that a peaceful future can deliver.
“The fact that the achievements of the Colombian peace process are being acknowledged by such a prestigious award in Ireland, has particular significance for Colombians.
“I am honoured to be able to accept the Tipperary International Peace Award on behalf of all the victims of the conflict and the many that have worked tirelessly to bring about peace in Colombia.”
Previous recipients of the Tipperary International Peace Award include former South African President the late Nelson Mandela, Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.