Two senior U.S. officials visited Damascus in August for secret talks about the fate of missing American journalist Austin Tice, sanctions and the U.S. military occupation in Syria, in rare high-level negotiations, The Washington Post quoted the Syrian Al Watan newspaper as reporting.
“According to the report in Al Watan newspaper, U.S. Ambassador Roger Carstens, an envoy for hostage affairs, and Kash Patel, a top White House counterterrorism adviser, met with Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syria’s intelligence agency, in his office in Damascus.”
“Citing unnamed sources, Al Watan said the trip was not the first visit by high-level U.S. diplomats and that three similar visits to Damascus have taken place in past years. The newspaper stressed that, during the August visit, the Syrian government refused to discuss kidnapped Americans and sanctions until effective talks on U.S. withdrawal from Syria were underway.”
The Washington Post mentioned that on Friday, the head of Lebanon’s general security directorate, Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, met with U.S. hostage envoy Robert O’Brien in Washington, sources said.
“He was expected to raise the cases of Tice and Majid Kamalmaz, a psychotherapist from Arlington, VA, who was arrested shortly after he arrived in Damascus in 2017 to visit relatives.”
Source: The Washington Post