Home Articles US Navy veteran’s release ‘non-negotiable’ for Taliban’s legitimacy: Biden

US Navy veteran’s release ‘non-negotiable’ for Taliban’s legitimacy: Biden

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US President Joe Biden on Sunday called on the Taliban to release US Navy veteran Mark Frerichs, who has been held captive for two years. Biden said in a statement Frerichs’s release was non-negotiable before the Taliban can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy.

Frerichs, a native of Illinois, was helping with construction projects in Afghanistan when he was taken captive. Biden assured all the Americans held hostage and wrongfully detained overseas that his administration will continue to work steadfastly until every American being unjustly held against their wish returns home.

“A civil engineer, he spent a decade helping the people of Afghanistan. He has done nothing wrong,” Biden said in a statement.

The statement added, “Threatening the safety of Americans or any innocent civilians is always unacceptable, and hostage-taking is an act of particular cruelty and cowardice. The Taliban must immediately release Mark before it can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy. This is not negotiable.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that the US has raised Frerichs’s case in every meeting with the Taliban.

“[W]e have been clear that the legitimacy the Taliban seek is impossible to consider while they hold a US citizen hostage. His release is among our core, non-negotiable priorities. We will continue to send a clear message to Taliban leadership: immediately and safely release Mark and disavow the practice of hostage-taking,” Price said.

The Sunni Pashtun group took control of Afghanistan in August last year but is yet to receive recognition from the international community given its history of human rights violations. Afghanistan is facing a grave humanitarian crisis following the ouster of the Western-back government, compounded by suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets, and international sanctions on the TalibanUS Navy veteran's release ‘non-negotiable’ for Taliban's legitimacy: Biden

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