The hostages freed by French commandos from militants in Burkina Faso were greeted by President Emmanuel Macron after they stepped off a government jet in Paris on Saturday.
Earlier they offered their condolences to the families of the two soldiers killed in the rescue operation.
Laurent Lassimouillas spoke for the group after meeting with the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Kaboré.
"All our thoughts go to the families of the soldiers who lost their lives to free us from this hell," he said.
The soldiers killed - Cedric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello - were both officers in the French naval special forces.
In all four hostages were freed. France says their captors were terrorists who planned to hand them over to an al Qaeda affiliate in Mali.