I send my warmest congratulations to my friend, President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, on being chosen as the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
I admire the extraordinary courage and dedication President Santos has demonstrated throughout the peace process. His faith in the prospect of a better future for the people of Colombia has never wavered. And, although the work is not yet done, thanks to his leadership, after 52 years of violence, it’s possible to envision a hemisphere that is fully at peace.
As the Nobel Committee so appropriately recognized, this award does not honor just one man, it also honors an entire nation, striving for a brighter tomorrow. Over the past two decades, the Colombian people have worked with courage and unflagging determination to reclaim their country from violence and to pull themselves back from the brink of economic collapse.
Although the Colombian people did not vote to ratify the negotiated peace agreement, they have not turned their back on the idea of peace. And Colombia now has an opportunity to strengthen the peace accord through a national dialogue, which President Santos has called to determine the next steps in the path to peace.
I encourage all the people of Colombia to continue to pursue that vision. Keep the faith. The work of peace is never finished, but the progress the Colombian people have already made is a powerful testament to the fact that peace is possible.
Together with the international community, the United States will continue to help the Colombian people on their journey to peace. And I am committed to doing everything I can—both as Vice President and as a private citizen—to support the Colombian people as they build a new future.