An aide to French President Nicolas Sarkozy says France has
re-established communication with Colombian FARC rebels who have been
holding French - Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and other
hostages in secret jungle camps.
The official, speaking on
condition of anonymity, made the comment Thursday in the case of the
French-Colombian Betancourt, who has been in captivity for more than
six years. The comment comes two months after the FARC refused to
allow a French-led humanitarian mission access to her.
was kidnapped in February 2002 while campaigning for the Colombian
presidency. The government of France has made her release a priority
and expressed concern that she may be gravely ill. Concerns about her
health grew following the release last year of a video in which she
appeared gaunt and depressed.
Betancourt is among a group of
high-profile hostages who the FARC wants to exchange for hundreds of
imprisoned rebels. She is one of at least 700 hostages in FARC
custody. Three Americans are among the hostages.
The United States, European Union and Colombia have designated the FARC as a terrorist organization.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.