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Page last updated at 19:47 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 20:47 UK

Reaction to Betancourt's release

Here is a round-up of reaction to the news that Colombian authorities have rescued Ingrid Betancourt - a French-Colombian politician held by Farc rebels since 2002.

LORENZO DELLOYE-BETANCOURT, SON

It is an immense joy, an indescribable joy, I still cannot believe it. I am waiting to talk to my mother by phone. I want to tell her that I love her and that she has been missed.

MELANIE DELLOYE-BETANCOURT, DAUGHTER

You've allowed us to live the most beautiful moment of our lives. We must continue to fight for their [remaining hostages] freedom.

ASTRID BETANCOURT, SISTER

I am filled with happiness. These have been long years of waiting.

ALVARO URIBE, COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT

So the Farc understands that our security policy is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end - a road to peace. We want to invite the Farc to search for peace for which we are ready at any time. They should start by freeing the other hostages.

NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT

The whole of France is happy to welcome Ingrid Betancourt back. You [Farc] must stop the absurd struggle.

GORDON JOHNDROE, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN

President [George W] Bush congratulated [Colombian] President [Alvaro] Uribe, telling him he is a 'strong leader'.

President Uribe thanked President Bush for his support and confidence in the government of Colombia.

HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT

We are overjoyed at the liberation of those people... and even happier to learn they were freed without spilling a drop of blood.

FERNANDO CERPEDA, COLOMBIAN AMBASSADOR TO FRANCE

The whole political strategy has suffered a big blow because the trophy or the trophies have been taken from the very hands of the Farc.

JOHN McCAIN, US PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL, CURRENTLY VISITING COLOMBIA

This is great news, and now we will renew our efforts to free all of the others, innocent people who are unlawfully being held hostage.

MICHELLE BACHELET, CHILEAN PRESIDENT

This is a victory for democracy, peace and freedom.

LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT

I hope this is an important step toward the release of all the other kidnapped people, reconciliation among all Colombians and peace in Colombia.

ALAN GARCIA, PERUVIAN PRESIDENT

I think Colombia, which has sometimes faced a lack of understanding in the world, showed us today what can be done with constancy, discipline and the democratic use of legal resources to face and banish violence.

BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY GENERAL

Farc must immediately and unconditionally release the remaining hostages, whose security is their responsibility.

KIM HOWELLS, UK FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER

Kidnapping is a despicable crime and the hostages had been held in inhumane conditions for many years. Illegal armed groups like the Farc can play no positive role in Colombia, and the UK will continue to offer whatever help it can to promote lasting peace in that country.

JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION CHIEF

We share with France this great joy. I congratulated also the Colombian President Uribe who made great efforts to make this liberation possible. This is a great moment and we are all very happy to see that determination and hope have triumphed once again.

BENITA FERRERO-WALDNER, EU COMMISSIONER FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Our hearts go out to those who remain in captivity. Ingrid Betancourt's fate has shed a harsh light on the cruel and inhumane conditions in which they are being held.

JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO, SPANISH PM

I would like to congratulate President Uribe and the Colombian military. I would also like to offer all our support and sympathy to the freed hostages and their families. Theirs was a brutal, inhuman and unfair kidnap.

FEDERICO LOMBARDI, VATICAN SPOKESMAN

This is good news which gives great pleasure.



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