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Biden to meet today with parents of missing journalist Austin Tice

President Joe Biden said on Monday he’s meeting with Debra and Marc Tice, the parents of journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing in Syria since 2012.

Tice’s mother was in the audience on Saturday night during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, a gathering of elite media to celebrate the first amendment. 

WHCA president Steve Portnoy of CBC News asked her to stand and paid tribute to Tice, a freelance reporter who worked for CBS, The Washington Post, and McClatchy. He was kidnapped in Syria on August 14, 2012. 

‘All over the world, journalists are subjected to jailing and intimidation for the use of pen pad camera and keyboard. They’ve been tortured, murdered, kidnapped, and we must never forget, Portnoy said.

He then asked Debra Tice to stand and said of Austin Tice: ‘He should be here with us tonight. But he’s been held captive in Syria since 2012. As we take note of Trevor Reed’s return our thoughts tonight are with Austin Tice.’

Biden, who spoke at the event, said he would like to meet with her. 

Halfway through his speech, Biden said to Debra: ‘Mom, I’d like to meet you and Dad to talk about your son.’ 

President Joe Biden will meet with Debra and Marc Tice, the parents of missing journalist Austin Tice, at the White House on Monday after Debra Tice appeared at White House Correspondent’s Association dinner on Saturday (above) 

Austin Tice, a freelance journalist, has been missing in Syria since 2012

Austin Tice, a freelance journalist, has been missing in Syria since 2012

Tice’s parents have been pleading with the administration to help their son. 

Tice’s parents met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in December as part of their plea. 

‘We have been very closely engaged with the family,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at her press briefing on Monday.

She said she had no information on Austin Tice’s whereabouts but said the administration would ‘do everything we can’ to bring him home.

‘We are doing everything we can to engage with leaders with countries – even some we certainly do not have diplomatic relations with – to bring Americans home,’ she said.

Austin Tice’s current whereabouts and health status remain unclear. It’s been nearly nine years since he was last seen, which was on a video showing him bound and blindfolded. 

The Biden administration has called on Syria to return Tice.

‘We believe that it is within Bashar al-Assad’s power to free Austin,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement in August marking Tice’s 40th birthday.

The call to free Tice gained steam after the Biden administration negotiated the successful release of former Marine Trevor Reed in a prisoner swap with Russia.

Reed was detained in Russia in 2019. He was accused of assaulting a police officer while visiting his girlfriend in the country – something he has always denied.

Trevor Reed’s parents had been pleading with President Biden to bring their son home. In return for Reed’s freedom, the U.S. agreed to return Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot serving a 20-year federal prison sentence in Connecticut for smuggling drugs.

Reed’s parents said they are grateful to President Biden for saving their son’s life. 

President Donald Trump sent two administration officials to Syria in the summer of 2020 to try to negotiate Tice’s release. 

It did not happen. 

At the time, Syrian officials told CBS News  that the Syrian government said no discussion could take place about U.S. hostages as long as U.S. military forces remained in Syria. Roughly 900 U.S. troops are in Syria. 

Marc and Debra Tice have pleaded with the Biden administration to help their son

Marc and Debra Tice have pleaded with the Biden administration to help their son

President Joe Biden said he would meet with Tice's parents

President Joe Biden said he would meet with Tice’s parents

Austin Tice's current whereabouts and health status remain unclear. It's been nearly nine years since he was last seen

Austin Tice’s current whereabouts and health status remain unclear. It’s been nearly nine years since he was last seen

Biden made his remarks on Tice after he presented the Presidential Rank Awards to 230 winners from 37 federal agencies in a virtual ceremony.

The awards honor federal employees for their service. 

Biden brought the awards back after Trump canceled them in 2020.  

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk