WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- National Press Club - The following is a statement from Debra Tice, the mother of journalist and Marine veteran Austin Tice, responding to Secretary Mike Pompeo's press briefing of Wednesday 21 October.
Our family was elated to read in the Wall Street Journal that President Trump recently sent Kash Patel, a top White House aide, to Damascus, Syria, to begin the first real dialogue with the Syrian government in almost a decade. This has always been an essential component of securing the safe release of our son, Austin Tice, who has been detained in Syria since August 2012.
We are thrilled the President took this step. President Trump has had historic success in bringing home U.S. hostages. He is an advocate and an ally to families like ours.
Unfortunately for Austin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is undermining the President's crucial outreach, refusing any form of direct diplomatic engagement with the Syrian government. During his press briefing on October 21st, he stood before the State Department press corps and said, in essence, there is nothing he is willing to do to bring my son home. This is in stark contrast to President Trump's statement, "We stand with the Tice family and will not rest until we bring Austin home."
President Trump is committed to seeing Austin walk free, whereas Secretary Pompeo is willing to accept his continued detention.
With the Damascus visit, the Syrian government has opened the door for dialogue toward Austin's release. They have offered to do what President Trump so publicly asked back in March, "work with us" to bring Austin safely home. This opportunity should be enthusiastically engaged as a giant step toward not only the safe return of my son Austin, but also toward an end of strife in Syria, and the beginning of relief for the Syrian people.
Our President can and should insist upon continuing the dialogue with the Syrian government. This directive is fully in line with his desire to secure Austin's safe release, to exit "endless wars" and to promote American interests.
People who agree about nothing else agree Austin's captivity has gone on for too long and it is past time to secure his safe return.
Eight years. Austin is waiting, wanting to come home. Our family is waiting with open arms. His friends are waiting for a joyful homecoming celebration. People across America and around the world are waiting to see Austin walk free. We urge President Trump to override every obstacle and move forward on his commitment to bring Austin safely home.
Our family and so many others will be truly grateful to welcome Austin home for Thanksgiving.
Contact William McCarren, 202-662-7534
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SOURCE National Press Club