Betancourt arrives in Paris

July 4, 2008 at 4:11 PM
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PARIS, July 4 (UPI) -- French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt landed in Paris Friday where she was met at the airport by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The two held a news conference at Villacoublay, a military airfield outside Paris, The New York Times reported. Betancourt told reporters she was "crying for joy."

"For seven years I have been dreaming of this moment." she said. "I am emotional to be here today and I am happy to be alive."

Betancourt and Sarkozy then went to the Elysee Paris.

A dual citizen of France and Colombia, Betancourt was one of 15 hostages rescued Wednesday by Colombian government forces who tricked followers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also called FARC, into believing they were comrades.

Betancourt, a presidential candidate when kidnapped in 2002, pledged to become Colombia's president and free the remaining hostages held by rebels, the British newspaper said.

She said the release of at least 25 political hostages and hundreds of other Colombians held for ransom by FARC has become her mission.

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