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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 23:13 GMT
French head meets hostage family
Released hostage Consuelo Gonzalez, left, Melanie Delloye and Melanie's father, Fabrice
Friends and relatives of Ingrid Betancourt met the French president
The daughter of the kidnapped Colombian politician, Ingrid Betancourt, has expressed hope that she will be freed.

Melanie Delloye was speaking in France after meeting President Nicolas Sarkozy on the sixth anniversary of her mother's capture.

"For the first time, I can see the future with a little bit of hope," she said after a remembrance ceremony.

Ms Betancourt, who holds Colombian and French nationality, is being held by rebels of the left-wing FARC movement.

The ceremony, near Paris City Hall, was attended by relatives, friends and well-wishers.

Hopes have been raised by the recent release of two of the more than 40 high-profile captives held by the rebels in southern Colombia.

Last month, the former Colombian senator, Consuelo Gonzalez de Perdomo, and Betancourt aide, Clara Rojas, were released in a deal brokered by the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

Rebel offer

Ingrid Betancourt was seized in 2002 while campaigning in the Colombian presidential election.

A cut out photograph of Ingrid Betancourt is seen during a mass in Colombia
Ingrid Betancourt was campaigning to become Colombian president

The rebels are offering to free her and other captives in return for FARC members imprisoned by the Colombian authorities.

The French government views Betancourt's release as a foreign policy priority.

The French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said during a visit to Colombia on Thursday that efforts to free the hostages were proceeding too slowly. He said Brazil and other countries could play an active role.

But concerns for Betancourt's health have increased with the release of a recent video of her in a rebel jungle camp looking gaunt.

Ingrid Betancourt's daughter optimistic

Profile: Freed hostages
10 Jan 08 |  Americas
Q&A: Colombia hostage situation
14 Jan 08 |  Americas

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