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French Foreign Minister in Colombia

Article published on the 2008-04-28 Latest update 2008-04-29 08:33 TU

Bernard Kouchner(Photo : Reuters)

Bernard Kouchner
(Photo : Reuters)

The French Foreign Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, begins a three-day tour of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. His main reson for going is to try to re-start negotiations for a possible release of Ingrid Betancourt.

Analyst Colin Harding says that both Kouchner and President Nicolas Sarkozy hope that France’s interest in Betancourt’s fate will get talks with the rebels moving again. He says, however, that the increase in diplomatic activity may simply cause Betancourt's captors, Farc, to withdraw from any potential negotiations.

Kouchner's visit comes after a joint French-Swiss-Spanish humanitarian mission in early April flew a medical team to treat Betancourt. They were unable to reach the captive who is believed to be sick.

His visit is complicated by disputes between Colombia, Ecuador and Venezula. Ecuador broke diplomatic relations with Colombia in March after the Colombian army attacked Ecuador’s territory, killing Farc’s  second-in-command Paul Reyes.

Ingrid Betancourt was the Green party presidential candidate in Colombia. She has been held for six years by Farc guerrillas in the Colombian jungle.