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15 Hostages Rescued To Safety From FARC Captivity

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
July 2, 2008

Rescue of Hostages from FARC Captivity

We congratulate President Uribe and the Colombian military on the success of the operation that resulted in the safe rescue of 15 hostages, including Americans Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell, and French-Colombian citizen Ingrid Betancourt.

We are delighted with the safe recovery of these Americans after more than five years of captivity. We are working now to reunite them swiftly with their families in the United States.

The United States calls on the FARC to release immediately all remaining hostages so they may be returned safely to their families. We hold the FARC responsible for the health and well-being of all hostages.

We commend the Government of Colombia for its sustained efforts to secure the safe return of all FARC hostages. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those still held by the FARC and their loved ones.

2008/540
Released on July 2, 2008

ENDS

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