The Colombian government has offered to meet unconditionally with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to discuss a possible prisoner swap.

Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo Wednesday said the government is ready for a direct and immediate meeting with FARC. He added that the meeting could take place any time and anywhere FARC chooses.

The announcement followed a meeting between President Alvaro Uribe and relatives of rebel hostages.

FARC is said to be holding 59 hostages, including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, and three Americans.

FARC, along with a smaller rebel group and rightist paramilitaries, is locked in a long-running war with the government that kills thousands of people each year.

 Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.