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Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support he has offered President Uribe to assist in the safe return of the two British people taken hostage by terrorist guerrillas in Colombia. [131245]

We welcome the news of Mathew Scott's escape from his captors in Colombia and are continuing our efforts to secure the release of Mark Henderson, the other Briton who was among those abducted in the Sierra Nevada National Park on 12 September. We have offered help from British police kidnap specialists to the Colombian government. Embassy staff in Santa Marta are also liaising closely with the Colombian authorities involved in the search for the hostages. We have stressed throughout the incident the need for the safety of the hostages to be put above all other considerations.