The operation is shrouded in mystery with no indication of whether FARC guerrillas holding Betancourt, who is believed to be very ill, have given it their blessing or whether a French team is already in the region.“A humanitarian mission by the three facilitating countries, Spain, France and Switzerland, has begun, in cooperation with the authorities concerned,” President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said in a statement. It did not elaborate.Sarkozy made a direct televised appeal on Tuesday to the Marxist FARC to release Betancourt who was “in danger of imminent death”, he said.Betancourt, 46, is a former Colombian presidential candidate and has been held hostage for six years. She has dual French-Colombian nationality.Earlier, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he hoped the mission could reach her quickly.“Everything that we could have humanly done, we have done. Now we have to wait until our special envoys, the doctor, get to the area,” Kouchner told reporters after a cabinet meeting “We are expecting a lot from this.”
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