Syria on Wednesday formally denied it was holding American journalist and Marine Corps veteran Austin Tice, who was kidnapped in Syria 10 years in the past.
Why it issues: President Biden mentioned final week that the U.S. is aware of with certainty that Tice, one of many longest-held and most high-profile American hostages, has been held by the Syrian authorities.
- “We’ve repeatedly requested the federal government of Syria to work with us in order that we are able to carry Austin house,” Biden mentioned.
- The Biden administration has mentioned it has engaged in current months with the Syrian authorities each by third events and on to attempt to attain a breakthrough.
What they’re saying: “The Syrian Arab Republic categorically denies the accusations of kidnapping, or hiding any American citizen who entered its territories or stayed within the areas underneath the sovereignty and authority of the Syrian Authorities,” the Syrian Overseas Ministry mentioned in an announcement.
- The Syrian Overseas Ministry added that any dialogue or official communication with the U.S. will solely be based mostly on respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.
- “The U.S. ought to instantly and unconditionally withdraw its army forces from Syrian territories, and cease plundering and smuggling the Syrian oil and wheat,” the assertion added.