The U.S. Department of State said on Thursday that Washington still believes that Journalist Austin Tice is held by the Syrian government.
Remarks made by Ned Price, the spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, came in reply to a statement made by Syria’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.
On Wednesday, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates denied the U.S. statements about arresting any American citizens, including Austin Tice, in Syria. Syria called these accusations “misleading and illogical,” according to the state-run News Agency SANA.
Price retaliated, saying the statement “does nothing to change our fundamental position.”
“We call on the Syrian Government to ensure that Austin Tice and every U.S. national held hostage in Syria can return home,” he added.
He stressed his country’s extensive and direct engagement with Syrian officials “to try to get Austin home.”
“We will continue to pursue every avenue we conceivably can to secure Austin’s prompt release,” Price added.
The fate of Tice remains uncertain since he went missing at one of the security checkpoints run by the Syrian government forces in 2012 close to the capital Damascus, according to Reporters Without Borders.
On August 10th, which marked the tenth anniversary of Tice being missing, U.S. President Joe Biden urged the Syrian government to help return the journalist.
On August 15th, the U.S. Department of State announced that they contacted Syrian officials via a third party to help bring Tice home.
The U.S. announcement was followed by successive reactions from both parties.
This article was translated and 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.