Taliban must release US hostage: Biden

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Jeo Biden/ Pic Agencies

Washington, (UNI) US President Joe Biden has called for the release of Mark Frerichs, a US Navy veteran, who was taken hostage in Afghanistan nearly two years ago.

Frerichs was a civil engineer and contractor from Illinois.

“Two years ago tomorrow, US Navy veteran Mark Frerichs was taken hostage in Afghanistan. A civil engineer, he spent a decade helping the people of Afghanistan. He has done nothing wrong. And yet, for two years the Taliban has held him captive,” Biden said in a statement on Sunday.

He said, “The Taliban must immediately release Mark before it can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy. This is not negotiable.”

State Secretary Ned Price said that the US has raised Mark’s case in every meeting with the Taliban and “we have been clear that the legitimacy the Taliban seek is impossible to consider while they hold a US citizen hostage.

“We will continue to send a clear message to Taliban leadership: immediately and safely release Mark and disavow the practice of hostage-taking,” he added.

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