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Families of American hostages abroad discouraged after Blinken call

Participants don't feel the call made progress toward securing their loved ones' release and hope for a future audience with President Biden.

For several families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, a virtual meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday did little to reassure them that the administration is making the safe return of their loved ones a priority. 

Participants who spoke with Al-Monitor described an at times tense video call with Blinken on Wednesday, with one calling it a “box-checking” exercise. The family members, some of whom requested anonymity because the secretary told participants the call was off-the-record, were encouraged by Blinken's decision to meet with them virtually but said more should be done to bring their relatives home.

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