United States Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday celebrated a bilateral ceasefire ending 52 years of violence between the state and FARC rebels and called on the international community to support pending peace efforts.

In a statement, Kerry applauded President Juan Manuel Santos, who has been politically responsible for the talks between the state and the rebels.

“Today’s announcement regarding the ‘end of conflict’ in Colombia is welcome news to the people of that country and to all who desire peace,” said Kerry.

Additionally, “President Santos deserves credit for his courage, leadership, and unwavering commitment to peace,” Kerry said.

The US Secretary of State reiterated his support for the peace process that has been attended by the State Department’s Special Envoy Bernard Aronson since early 2015.

Aronson, a senior Democrat diplomat, assisted in Thursday’s ceremony.

Kerry asked US Congress and the international community “to join in supporting the people of” Colombia “as they continue to make progress towards a just and lasting peace.”

The Colombian government has been seeking international aid to finance a peace process, victim compensation and a wide range of reforms aimed at preventing further political violence in the South American country.

US President Barack Obama earlier this year promised an increase in US aid to Colombia, which still needs to be ratified by Congress.

From Colombia Reports. Click here to go there.

Article originally appeared at Today Colombia. Reposted with permission.