Igrid, en cablegate
In an aside before the dinner, Araud described how
Ingrid Betancourt's release had become such an important
cause in France, one which President Sarkozy had insistently
associated himself with during the presidential campaign.
Burns noted that since August 2003 there had been no proof
of life of the American hostages in Colombia. However,
extensive interviews with the recently escaped FARC prisoner
had led us to believe the information he provided was
credible; there may now be grounds for believing the U.S.
hostages, held together with Betancourt, are still alive.
Loras replied that based on French interviews of the same
escapee, the GOF was skeptical. The information provided was
far too detailed, possibly indicating it was planted -- and
the whole "escape" potentially a fake. Araud and Burns
agreed to further consultations between our missions in
Bogota and in Paris. Loras asked that such talks begin in
Paris. Araud referred us to the Presidency for future
consultations on this sensitive topic.