Biden says US won’t consider Taliban’s ‘legitimate wishes’ until hostages are released

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Sunday calling for the release of the US Navy veteran Mark Frerichsperson held hostage in Afghanistan almost two years ago.

Frerichs, a civil engineer and contractor from Lombard, Illinois, was kidnapped in January 2020 from the capital, Kabul. He is believed to be being held in the Haqqani network with ties to the Taliban.

“Threatening the safety of Americans or any innocent civilians is always unacceptable, and taking hostages is a particularly heinous and cowardly act,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. announced on the second anniversary of Monday’s abduction. “The Taliban must release Mark immediately before any consideration of their legitimate wishes can be expected. This is not negotiable”.

The statement comes as Afghanistan is facing a thorny humanitarian crisis following the US withdrawal in August. The Taliban quickly gained control of much of the country and foreign aid poured into the country. largely stopped, endangering the lives of millions of Afghans who could starve or freeze to death.

Frerichs’ sister Charlene Cakora released a statement saying her family was “grateful” for Biden’s words.

“But what we really wanted was to bring Mark home,” she said. Biden says US won’t consider Taliban’s ‘legitimate wishes’ until hostages are released

Jake Nichol

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