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Biden should take motion now to carry house Austin Tice

Ten years. An American, a veteran U.S. Marine, a person who grew to become a international correspondent in order that his fellow Individuals would know what was occurring in Syria, has been lacking for 10 years.

President Joe Biden is aware of about Austin Tice. So did Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama. A few of them engaged; none of them with obvious outcomes.

Trump’s staff mentioned it had proof Tice, who labored as a contract correspondent for McClatchy earlier than his seize, was alive and despatched its hostage envoy to Damascus to assemble details about him.

Biden’s staff — after some prodding — agreed to permit Austin’s dad and mom, Debra and Marc Tice, to satisfy with the president in early Could.

In that assembly, the Tices say the president requested his staff to get a gathering with the Syrians and discover out what they need and to work with them to get Austin launched. Three months later, little has modified.

Biden issued a press release this week calling on Syria to carry an finish to Austin’s captivity and to work together with his administration to carry him house.

“There is no such thing as a greater precedence in my Administration than the restoration and return of Individuals held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas,” the assertion learn. “We should identify them, hold them in our hearts and minds, and make restoration and return a precedence.”

Statements like these are encouraging, however phrases don’t quantity to motion. We have to see actions and outcomes.

If the U.S. authorities has proof of Austin’s whereabouts and circumstances, it’s past time to tug out all of the stops to succeed in an answer. That begins with direct engagement with the Syrian authorities — not working via intermediaries or again channels.

For a decade, Austin Tice has been lacking from household gatherings, from holidays and celebrations — from moments massive and small. As a father and grandfather, my coronary heart breaks for Debra and Marc Tice. They deserve higher from their president, from this authorities.

To my colleagues within the press, don’t let Austin Tice be forgotten. Hold asking robust questions and demanding solutions till the administration takes motion and makes his launch a precedence.

And to President Biden, step up and demand your staff discover a pathway to Austin’s launch. BRING AUSTIN TICE HOME!

Tony Hunter is chairman and CEO of McClatchy, an area information firm that publishes in 30 communities throughout the U.S.

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