France, Colombia to collaborate on hostage release

February 22nd, 2008 - 2:32 pm ICT by admin  

Bogota, Feb 22(Xinhua) France and Colombia will collaborate on the release of hostages, including a French-Colombian stateswoman held by Colombian rebels, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Thursday. “France’s and other friendly countries’ role is to participate to accomplish humanitarian interchanges” between the Colombian government and Colombia’s Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), said Kouchner during a press conference after meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in Bogota.

Kouchner’s visit comes on the eve of the sixth anniversary of Ingrid Betancourt’s abduction. Betancourt, a French-Colombian stateswoman who remains in rebel custody, was campaigning for Colombia’s presidency when the FARC rebels kidnapped her together with her vice presidential candidate Clara Rojas on Feb 23, 2002.

Kouchner arrived in Colombia from Venezuela, where he praised Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his mediation efforts, which led to the release of two hostages including Rojas in January.

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