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Colombia puts a hold on Swiss Farc mediation

Bogota has announced an end to Swiss mediation efforts in hostage negotiations between the country's government and the Farc rebel group.

This content was published on July 10, 2008 - 15:23

The Colombian ambassador to Bern, Claudia Jimenez, made the announcement on Thursday in the Swiss capital after officially informing Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey.

The decision comes a week after the Colombian government engineered the successful release of 15 hostages including Ingrid Betancourt, a former presidential candidate in that country.

Colombia did leave the door open to future Swiss involvement within the context of a concrete peace plan.

Bogota has also said it expects a response from Switzerland into the dealings of a Swiss mediator, Jean-Pierre Gontard, who was involved in negotiations with Farc.

Documents suggesting Gontard had a cosy relationship with Farc leaders were discovered on a seized computer belonging to Raul Reyes, a senior member of the group killed in March in a military operation launched by the Colombian government.

Jimenez said Bogota would wait for the Swiss to move before taking action on the issue.

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