Sarkozy urges FARC rebels to free hostages

French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a message Thursday to Manuel Marulanda, head of the Colombian rebel group FARC, calling for the release of the French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

Sarkozy urges FARC rebels to free hostages
I "solemnly request the release of Ingrid Betancourt," Sarkozy said in the televised message, "For my part I pledge to remain personally involved in the search for a humanitarian solution, for the liberation of all the others being held. Moreover, I promised to redouble efforts, if that is desired, to contribute to finding a way out of the Colombian conflict."

"But at this moment, Mr. Marulanda, a woman in danger of dying must be saved. I have a dream, to see Ingrid among her family this Christmas," he said.

Colombia invited the French president earlier this week to take part in the hostage swap talks with FARC, after Colombian President Alvaro Uribe canceled the mediation effort by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez with the rebel group last month.

France has remained deeply concerned about Colombia's hostage crisis as French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, kidnapped in February 2002 while campaigning for the Colombian presidency, is among the hostages that FARC hoped to exchange for some 500 rebels held by the Colombian government.

On Nov. 30, a video footage of kidnapped Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans was released as evidence that the hostages are still alive.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Aralık 2007, 14:06
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