Biden Fulfills with Mother and father of Austin Tice, Maritime Veteran Missing in Syria

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden achieved with the moms and dads of Austin Tice, an American journalist who went lacking in Syria in 2012, at the White Household on Monday immediately after journalists encouraged him over the weekend to prioritize Tice’s situation.

White Residence press secretary Jen Psaki verified the conference took location, noting the president’s nationwide safety crew has been in regular contact with the Tice loved ones since December of past yr.

“The president reiterated his motivation to keep on to work by way of all offered avenues to safe Austin’s prolonged overdue return to his household,” Psaki stated in a statement, and “further emphasized that his administration will function relentlessly right up until Austin and other Us citizens held hostage and wrongfully detained around the world are securely at residence with their beloved kinds.”

“Today’s conference designed on various meetings and discussions concerning the Tice family members and the president’s national stability crew,” she additional, “which will continue being in common get in touch with with the Tices and other people of Us citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.”

Equally Biden and Tice’s mother, Debra, attended the annual evening meal of the White Dwelling Correspondents’ Association on Saturday the place Tice’s story was explained to. Biden mentioned around the weekend that he hoped to meet with the Tices, prompting his aides to set up the conference, Psaki claimed.

A Texas indigenous and former officer of the U.S. Marine Corps, Tice was 31 when he traveled to Syria in 2012 as a freelance journalist for McClatchy, The Washington Write-up and CBS News.

He was detained at a checkpoint in a suburb of Damascus. Five weeks afterwards, a online video was introduced showing him held by unknown armed gentlemen. No a person has claimed accountability for his disappearance.

Debra and Marc Tice, Austin’s father, have considering the fact that pushed a few presidents to determine his whereabouts and safe his launch.

Debra criticized Biden late very last calendar year for not paying notice to the case, stating the president “has hardly ever stated Austin’s name publicly.”

“I marvel if he’s authorized himself to neglect about Austin,” she advised reporters. “I don’t have any sign or else.”

She afterwards fulfilled with Biden’s countrywide security adviser, Jake Sullivan, who assured her that Tice’s circumstance is a top precedence for the administration.

The United States does not understand the federal government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and the Biden administration will not say regardless of whether it is inclined to interact with it straight to protected Tice’s freedom.

But the administration has created a thrust to cost-free People unjustly detained overseas in recent months, granting its specific envoy for hostage affairs, Roger Carstens, the liberty to engage with hostile overseas governments, these types of as the routine of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.

“We have an total apparatus and energy by means of the interagency to do the job to do almost everything we can to engage with leaders, with countries, even some we undoubtedly do not have diplomatic relations with, to deliver Us citizens home,” Psaki claimed.

Even though the Assad authorities has never acknowledged Tice’s capture, the Biden administration is operating to his release on the belief that he is alive.

Officials from the Trump administration produced a press for Tice’s launch in 2020, meeting with Syrian officers to discuss possible conditions for his launch.

Debra and Marc Tice did not right away answer to requests for remark.

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©2022 McClatchy Washington Bureau. Visit mcclatchydc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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