Syria denies US statements of kidnapping its citizens in country

DAMASCUS, Syria (North Press) – Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates denied on Wednesday statements by the US administration and its Department of State about holding any American citizens, including journalist Austin Tice in Syria.

These accusations are “illogical and misleading,” said SANA, the state-run news agency, quoting a statement by the foreign ministry.

The Syrian government “categorically denies the accusations on kidnapping, or hiding any American citizen who entered its territories or stayed in the areas under the sovereignty and authority of the Syrian government,” read the statement.

It further said that Syria is committed  “to the principles of the international law and the provisions of Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.”

“Syria stresses that any dialogue or official communication with the US will only be openly and based on respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and without interfering in its internal affairs,” the foreign ministry added.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday that the US government has pushed Syria to return every American citizen.

On Tice’s case specifically, he said, the Biden administration has “engaged extensively – and that includes directly – with Syrian officials and through third parties.”

On August 10, US President Joe Biden urged the Syrian government to help return disappearing journalist in Syria ten years ago. 

The journalist Austin Tice went missing close to Damascus on August 14, 2012. He was working as a freelance photographer for foreign agencies.

Reporting by Fansa Temmo