World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Sarkozy Calls For Release Of Hostages In Colombia


By Lisa Bryant
Paris

French President Calls for Release of Hostages in Colombia

French President Nicolas Sarkozy again marked his hands-on diplomatic style by personally requesting the head of Colombia's FARC guerrillas release 45 hostages the group has been holding for years.

In television and radio messages released overnight by the French government, President Sarkozy directly appealed to FARC leader Manuel Marulanda to release the 45 hostages, who include three Americans and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt.

He said France did not share Marulanda's views and condemned his methods. But he also said that releasing the hostages would show FARC understands humanitarian principles.

Mr. Sarkozy also delivered words of encouragement to the hostages, singling out Betancourt, who was captured by the rebels six years ago as she campaigned for the Colombian presidency.

The French president praised Betancourt's dignity and courage and told her to stay strong. He said her family waits for her release and that France will never drop her cause.

Talks between the Colombian government and the rebels have been stalled over proposals to swap the hostages for about 500 FARC prisoners in Colombian jails. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently tried to mediate a solution, but he has fallen out with Colombia's leader, Alvaro Uribe.

Paris has kept Betancourt's cause high on its agenda and posters of the politician, who has family members in France, are draped in public places. Recently released videos of some of the hostages showed Betancourt looking thin and despondent.

Mr. Sarkozy's direct intervention is becoming a trademark of his diplomacy. He sent his ex-wife Cecilia to Libya a few months ago to lobby for the release of Bulgarian health workers imprisoned there. Last month, he flew to Chad to bring back 10 Europeans jailed on charges of involvement in a botched effort by a French charity to fly 103 African children to France.

ENDS

More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC