Commenting on media reports regarding U.S. contacts with Damascus for the release of U.S. citizens, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo maintained that “when we work on prisoner issues, this is something that we focus on. We compartmentalise that. Our ask is that the Syrians release Mr. Tice, they tell us what they know. They have chosen not to do that so far”. He further noted that “we don’t pay for the return of hostages. We work to make the case that they need to get these people returned, and that is our expectation of every country, not only Syria, but all the Americans who are held in Iran”.
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