Biden calls on Taliban to release ‘last American hostage’

US President Joe Biden has called on Afghan Taliban leaders to release Mark Fredericks, who was kidnapped two years ago and is believed to be the last American hostage held by the movement.

On Sunday, Biden said in a statement that “threatening the safety of Americans or any innocent civilians is absolutely unacceptable, and hostage-taking is an extremely cruel and cowardly act.”

“The Taliban should release Mark immediately before they can expect to have their aspirations for legitimacy taken into account. This is not negotiable,” he added.

It is noteworthy that the hostage, Mark Frericks, 59, is a former member of the US Navy, and he worked in Afghanistan for ten years as a civil engineer on development projects.

Fredericks was kidnapped a month before the signing of the Doha agreement between the United States and the Taliban in February 2020.

He is currently believed to be held by the Haqqani Network, a faction of the Taliban. Today, Monday, marks two years since his kidnapping.

President Biden withdrew US forces from Afghanistan in August of last year, in a chaotic withdrawal that drew sharp criticism from Republicans as well as from his fellow Democrats as well as foreign allies, which negatively affected his popularity.

The Frecks family criticized the US government for not exerting more pressure for his release.

Last week, his sister Charlene Kakura made a personal appeal to Biden in an article in the Washington Post titled “President Biden, please bring my brother home, the last American hostage in Afghanistan.”

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