Sarko: Betancourt Near Death

French president renews call for FARC ro release hostage
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 3:20 PM CDT
Herve Marro, unseen, of Ingrid Betancourt's support committee, holds part of a petition of more than 600,000 signings asking for her release Tuesday April 1, 2008, at the Elysee Palace in Paris.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Nicolas Sarkozy today reiterated his call for FARC to free hostage Ingrid Betancourt, saying the Colombian-French politician is "in danger of imminent death," Reuters reports. After 6 years in the rebel guerrillas' custody, Betancourt reportedly began a hunger strike Feb. 23. "Free Ingrid Betancourt and the weakest hostages," the French president said in an appearance televised with Spanish subtitles.

"The latest information reaching us regarding Ingrid Betancourt is profoundly worrying," Sarkozy said. "You, who lead the FARC, you have a rendezvous with history. Don't miss it..” The French military has been on standby, ready to transport hostages should an agreement be reached to trade them for imprisoned guerrillas, and the president has said he'll travel to Colombia if Betancourt is freed, Voice of America reports.