On Wednesday (2 July) Ingrid Betancourt, three US citizens and eleven other hostages were freed from a camp run by the Colombian rebel group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
On Thursday (3 July) in Berlin, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement on this event:
"We share the joy and relief of Ingrid Betancourt's family and friends that her captivity has finally ended after more than six years. We are also happy for the other 14 ex-hostages, some of whom had been in FARC hands for over ten years.
I congratulate the Colombian government on this successful mission. We hope this leads to the non-violent liberation of the remaining hostages, whose numbers still run into the hundreds, during the coming months."