Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 3, 2008 - 4:14pm,7340,L-3563390,00.html

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday night that "France will never forget Gilad Shalit."

Speaking in a press conference following the release of politician Ingrid Betancourt by Columbian rebels, the French president chose to turn to the kidnapped Israeli soldier's parents.

"I would like to direct my last words to Gilad Shalit and his parents. We have not forgotten. France is always ready to be recruited for a person held unjustly," Sarkozy said.

Last week, during an address at the Knesset, the French president referred to the negotiations for the release of the abducted soldier, who is also a French citizen.

"As it appears violence has stopped for several days in Gaza, I would like to express my hope that Gilad Shalit, my countryman, will be released soon," Sarkozy said.

During his visit to Israel, the French president met with Gilad Shalit's father Noam. Shalit said after the meeting, "We spoke about a number of concrete issues, and briefed him on the information we have on Gilad. The president promised to do everything in his power to help advance Gilad's quick release."



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