In a Monday letter to the president, families of Americans held in Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Mali, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Venezuela accused the administration of “not prioritizing negotiations.”
“Every day we wonder how much longer our loved ones must endure their captivity, not knowing when they will return home, and not being able to fully understand the efforts the United States government is undertaking to secure their freedom,” the group wrote, adding they feel “kept in the dark about what the U.S. government intends to do.”
The letter described a call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his first week in office and noted it gave them “hope” that the administration would prioritize the release of their families – some of whom have been in captivity since the Obama administration.
“Yet as of this letter, so many of us remain in the same situation, or worse, more than eight months later,” the group wrote. “We have not been able to meet with you or even with your national security adviser to discuss our loved ones’ captivity, which leads us to believe that your administration is not prioritizing negotiations.”
Some, like Charlene Cakora, sister of Mark Frerichs – a Navy veteran turned contractor abducted by the Taliban in February 2020 – have recently been vocal in calling out the administration.
Amid the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the mass evacuation that followed in August, Cakora pleaded with the administration to ensure her brother was among the more than 124,000 Americans and Afghans removed from Taliban hands.
But Frerichs remains in Afghanistan.
In a press briefing Tuesday, Blinken responded to the letter but offered little in the way of updates on how the U.S. is working to bring hostages home.
“The families of Americans who are held captive abroad, we know that they also face incredible hardship,” Blinken said.
“We remain in regular contact with these families, we are grateful for their partnership, we are grateful for their feedback – we continue to work to ensure we are communicating and sharing information with them in a way that is useful.”
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)