Colombian opposition senator and hostage mediator Piedad Cordoba asked French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 to allow the FARC to open an office in Paris, said the former director of France’s press agency on Tuesday.
Former AFP boss Jacques Thomet, who had written a book about former hostage Ingrid Betancourt, said during a forum that Cordoba requested the FARC office while discussing the captivity of Ingrid Betancourt with the French President.
“It was in November 2007, when she came to talk to President Nicolas Sarkozy about a possible intervention to liberate Ingrid Betancourt. Within the subjects was the request to open an international office of the FARC in Paris,” the journalist told those present at the ‘Socialism of the 21st century’ forum, organized by Colombian organization One Million Voices.
According to Thomet, the request took Sarkozy by surprise, as the FARC is considered a terrorist organization by the European Union and France, as a member of the union, was not able to allow the FARC to open an office.
Cordoba has been mediating the release of hostages held by the FARC on and off over the past few years and is currently presiding ‘Colombians for peace’, a group of prominent Colombians that seek a political solution for Colombia’s violent conflict.