Two years ago tomorrow, U.S. Navy veteran Mark Frerichs was taken hostage in Afghanistan. A civil engineer, he spent a decade helping the people of Afghanistan. He has done nothing wrong. And yet, for two years the Taliban has held him captive.

Mark is a native of Illinois. A son. A brother. And his family has now endured two gut-wrenching years—praying for his safety, wondering where and how he is, aching for his return. 

Threatening the safety of Americans or any innocent civilians is always unacceptable, and hostage-taking is an act of particular cruelty and cowardice. The Taliban must immediately release Mark before it can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy. This is not negotiable. 

To Mark, and to all the Americans being held hostage and wrongfully detained overseas, and to all their families and friends who are enduring the nightmare of their absence: know that my administration will continue to work steadfastly until every American being unjustly held against their will comes home.

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