Tomorrow marks two years since U.S. Navy veteran Mark Frerichs was taken, hostage. Mark is a civil engineer who was helping with construction projects for the benefit of the Afghan people when he was taken captive. Despite his innocence, he remains held hostage by the Taliban and its affiliates.
The United States 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 U.S. 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.