VATICAN CITY – The Vatican says that Pope Benedict XVI will meet with freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt as soon as his schedule permits.
The Vatican said in a statement Friday that the pope sent a telegram to Betancourt expressing his happiness that she was rescued from Colombian rebels, upon hearing the news.
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It says her "understandable and noble desire" to be received by Benedict can be met as soon as his schedule allows. The pope has moved to his vacation palace outside of Rome and is scheduled to leave for Australia July 12.
The pope met with Betancourt's mother at the Vatican in February.
The French-Colombian politician was rescued Wednesday after six years as a FARC prisoner. She is scheduled to arrive in Paris on Friday.