Biden will meet with parents of American journalist detained in Syria

2 weeks ago 86

(CNN)President Joe Biden said Monday he's gathering with the parents of detained American writer Austin Tice "today," little than a week aft different American imprisoned overseas was returned to the United States done a captive swap with Russia.

Tice, a freelance journalist, was detained astatine a checkpoint adjacent Damascus successful August 2012 while reporting connected the warfare successful Syria. He's a Texas autochthonal and a seasoned of the US Marine Corps. He was a instrumentality pupil astatine Georgetown University.

Biden's confirmation of the upcoming gathering with Tice's parents, Marc and Debra Tice, comes aft White House Correspondents' Association President Steven Portnoy made a nonstop plea for the President to enactment for the journalist's freedom. CNN has reached retired to the White House for details of the meeting.

    At Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner, Portnoy said successful beforehand of cameras and immoderate 2,600 guests, "Mr. President, astatine Table 48 contiguous is simply a pistillate named Debra Tice," asking Tice to basal and beryllium recognized by the room.

      "Mrs. Tice's son, Austin, is simply a workfellow of ours astatine The Washington Post, McClatchy and CBS, and helium should beryllium present with america tonight. But he's been held captive successful Syria since 2012. As we instrumentality enactment of Trevor Reed's return, our thoughts contiguous are with Austin Tice, and our corporate hopes are that aft astir 10 years successful captivity helium volition soon instrumentality location safely to his mother, his father, his colleagues and his friends," Portnoy added.

      White House property caput Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden's gathering with the Tice household came unneurotic rapidly implicit the weekend, aft the President expressed that helium wanted to conscionable with them.

      Psaki said that since a December gathering with nationalist information advisor Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Council officials person met with the Tice household connected 3 occasions, "including a gathering conscionable past week."

        She said the White House has been "in adjacent touch" with the family, but she did not connection immoderate further updates astir Tice's whereabouts. She besides noted that aft Monday's meeting, "what the President volition surely convey ... is that we volition proceed to bash everything we tin to bring him and arsenic we bash with immoderate American home."

        Psaki besides highlighted that the US authorities has "an full apparatus and effort done the interagency to enactment successful doing everything we tin to prosecute with leaders, with countries -- adjacent immoderate we surely bash not person diplomatic relations with -- to bring Americans home."

        American officials person expressed assurance that Tice is inactive live and being held successful Syria. But since his detention successful 2012, his household says, the lone accusation released by his captors has been a 43-second video titled "Austin Tice is Alive," which showed him being held by equipped men.

        The Trump medication reportedly pushed hard to unafraid Tice's release, including sending elder officials to Damascus.

        In an unfastened missive to the President past fall, Tice's parents called connected Biden to unafraid their son's release.

        "We judge this tin hap with your idiosyncratic engagement and nonstop orders. In these aboriginal days of your administration, you person intelligibly messaged that household is astatine the halfway of your agenda," the Tice household wrote. "So we are asking you to explicit beardown support, contented wide directions, and instrumentality meaningful enactment successful a sincere effort to bring Austin safely home."

        Monday's gathering comes little than a week aft Trevor Reed, an American national and erstwhile Marine who had been detained successful Russia since 2019, was returned to the US arsenic portion of a captive swap.

          Reed had been sentenced to 9 years successful situation successful July 2020 for endangering the "life and health" of Russian constabulary officers successful an altercation. Reed and his household person denied the charges against him.

          While the US authorities had been making an effort to person Reed returned to the US for months, his state yet came arsenic portion of a captive swap for Russian national Konstantin Yaroshenko.

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