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Biden meets parents of abducted US journalist Austin Tice

Marc (L) and Debra Tice, parents of US journalist Austin Tice, hold portraits of him during a press conference in 2017
— Washington (AFP)

President Joe Biden met Monday at the White House with the parents of Austin Tice, a US journalist abducted almost a decade ago while covering the war in Syria, his spokesperson said.

"During their meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to continue to work through all available avenues to secure Austin's long overdue return to his family," Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"Today's meeting built on multiple meetings and conversations between the Tice family and the President's national security team, which will remain in regular contact with the Tices and other families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.

"We appreciate the bravery and candor of families enduring these harrowing experiences, and we remain committed to supporting them and, most importantly, reuniting them with their loved ones."

The meeting comes after both Biden and the journalist's parents attended the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday, where Tice was honored along with other journalists killed, injured or detained while covering conflicts.

Psaki told reporters that the White House "went into action" after the televised gala and that while senior officials had already met several times with Tice's family, "meeting with the president is an additional and more significant step."

A freelance journalist and a former US marine, Tice was seized at a checkpoint near Damascus in 2012. Only one video showing him alive has been publicly released since.

Another former US marine, Trevor Reed, was released from detention in Russia last week in a Cold War-style prisoner swap with a detained Russian man.