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June 24, 2015

Family Statement on new United States Hostage Policy

After six months of what we believe to be a sincere and dedicated effort to update and clearly define US hostage policy, we are cautiously optimistic that the Executive Order signed by the President is a significant beginning towards effectively bringing our son Austin and other American hostages safely home. We hope this policy will instill in our government a clear focus on the soonest, safe return of all current and future hostages.

We continue to have concerns about several issues, including the leadership structure described in the policy, and the lack of specific mention of the protection of the identity and assets of hostages.

Nevertheless, we think this is a strong start, and we appreciate the President's commitment to periodically reviewing and improving this policy.

Our family will be delighted when we hold Austin in our arms as proof of the effectiveness of this new policy.

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