U.S. urges Colombia's FARC to clarify conditions for hostage release
www.chinaview.cn 2008-02-16 08:49:41   Print

    BOGOTA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield urged on Friday the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to clarify conditions for the release of the three U.S. hostages they have held for five years.

    "The FARC has not clarified its conditions, we are still speculating, we do not know what they want, the FARC has the obligation to clearly state what they specifically want to liberate each one of the hostages," said Brownfield.

    The United States on Wednesday called on the FARC to immediately free all hostages, including five Americans, as the day marked the fifth anniversary of the kidnapping of Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell by the rebel group.

    "The United States calls on the FARC to immediately release all hostages so they may be returned safely to their families," said State Department spokesman Scott McCormack.

    Washington "firmly supports the government of Colombia in its efforts to achieve the safe recovery of all of the hostages, some of whom have now been held for ten years," McCormack said.

    The FARC accused the three Americans of espionage and kidnapped them on Feb. 13, 2003 as their plane was over the area controlled by the rebel group in south of Colombia. The FARC opened fire and forced them to land.

    The FARC, accused of drug trafficking and holding some 750 people hostage in its jungle hideouts, is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and the Colombian government.

    The FARC has been fighting the Bogota government since the 1960s.

Editor: Du Guodong
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