Syria Denies U.S. Accusations on Kidnapping of Austin Tice

Damascus accused Washington of issuing misleading and illogical statements on Austin Tice, according to SANA.

The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said Wednesday that the U.S. administration, represented by the its President and Secretary of State, issued last week misleading and illogical statements directing false accusations to the Syrian government of kidnapping or arresting American citizens, among them Austin Tice, a U.S. army soldier.
The Ministry said in a statement that the U.S. government had admitted many years ago that Austin Tice and other Americans had entered the Syrian territories illegitimately.

Read Also: Biden Calls on Syria to Help Secure Release of Journalist Austin Tice

The Syrian Arab Republic categorically denies the accusations on kidnapping, or hiding any American citizen who entered its territories or stayed in the areas under the sovereignty and authority of the Syrian Government, the Ministry said, renewing its complete commitment to the principles of the international law and the provisions of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Syria draws the attention of U.S. public opinion and officials to the fact that the government of their country has violated the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the provisions of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations when it turned a blind eye and even encouraged dozens of the U.S. citizens to travel to Syria and illegitimately enter its territories and without the permission of its government via illegitimate border crossings or infiltrating to areas controlled by armed terrorist groups, the Ministry went on to say.
The Ministry pointed out that Syria stresses that any dialogue or official communication with the U.S. side will only be openly and based on respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and without interfering in its internal affairs.
The U.S. side should immediately and unconditionally withdraw its military forces that illegitimately existed on the Syrian territories and stop plundering and smuggling the Syrian oil and wheat, the Ministry said, adding that it should lift the cover and protection from the armed separatist groups and the armed terrorist groups which are stationed in the US illegitimate military base of al-Tanf and put a final and unconditioned end to the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US successive administrations on the Syrian people, the Ministry reiterated.

COMMENT FROM THE OBSERVER
President Joe Biden said last week that the U.S. knows with certainty that Tice, one of the longest-held and most high-profile American hostages, has been held by the Syrian government.
“We have repeatedly asked the government of Syria to work with us so that we can bring Austin home,” Biden said.
The Biden administration has said it has engaged in recent months with the Syrian government both through third parties and directly to try and reach a breakthrough.

 

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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