On August 14, 2012, three days after his 31st birthday, Austin Tice disappeared in Damascus, Syria. Except for a video released a few weeks later, he has not been heard from again. Soon he will mark his 3,000th day in captivity.
The U.S. government has repeatedly attempted to engage Syrian officials to seek Austin’s release. President Trump wrote to Bashar Al-Assad in March to propose direct dialogue. No one should doubt the President’s commitment to bringing home all U.S. citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas. Nowhere is that determination stronger than in Austin Tice’s case.
Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens single-mindedly and tirelessly pursues his mission and has my unwavering support. He and I, like the President, want there to be no need for another statement like this a year from now. Austin Tice’s release and return home are long, long overdue. We will do our utmost to achieve that goal.