Sarkozy was joined at the Elysee Palace by members of Ingrid Betacourt’s family. The French President thanked those who had worked so hard for her release.
“Along with Bernard Kouchner, I would like to thank Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, the Colombian authorities and the Colombian army, which led the successful operation to free the hostages. President Uribe receives the gratitude of the entire French nation.”
After a six-year wait her daughter Melanie said: “There are many hostages still in the jungle and we must not forget them, we must continue to fight for their freedom. And spare a thought for those who won’t be coming home because they died in the jungle.”
The family Betancourt are due to fly to Bogota along with the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner for a family reunion.