Posted by Miriam Wells on Feb 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Brazil denies Colombia asked for help with FARC hostage release

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Colombia helicopter

Brazil on Tuesday denied Colombian claims it had asked its neighbor to the south to participate in the planned release of FARC hostages.

On Sunday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he had authorized the use of Brazilian helicopters in the release operation, after initially insisting the government did not want other countries involved — but he has not yet asked the neighboring country, according to its Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.

Patriota said Brazil was still open to offers, however. He said, “We value the work of President Juan Manuel Santos and in the past we supported humanitarian opeations aimed at freeing hostages. [We] do not exclude the possibility of cooperating again with Colombia in the future.”

Brazil acted as a neutral third party during the FARC hostage releases over the past years, providing helicopters and pilots.

The FARC announced it would release six hostages in December and released their names in January.