Sens. Cornyn, Cruz write Kerry about journalists missing in Syria

Ted Cruz

Credit: WFAA

Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz, center, is flanked by Sen. John Cornyn, left, in this 2013 photo.

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Associated Press

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 9:52 AM

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) –– U.S. senators from New Hampshire and Texas are asking the State Department to step up efforts to find two freelance journalists missing in Syria.

Thirty-nine-year-old James Foley, who is from Rochester, N.H., was last seen in November in northwest Syria. Austin Tice, a 31-year-old former Marine from Texas, disappeared in August.

In a letter Thursday, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas urged the State Department to use every means available to find the men. They also urged Secretary of State John Kerry to continue raising the issue of U.S. citizens being held in Syria with Russian officials and to make the issue a priority at the proposed peace talks in Geneva.

"As the months continue with no further information regarding Mr. Tice's or Mr. Foley's whereabouts or welfare, we ask for your continued personal attention to these cases," they wrote.

Foley disappeared in Syria on Nov. 22 while he was in Idlib Province. He was working as a contributor to GlobalPost, which reported it found "strong evidence Mr. Foley is being held by the Syrian government," the letter said.

Tice has been missing since Aug. 13. "We understand that his whereabouts remain unknown at this time, although your department has indicated that they continue to believe Mr. Tice is being held in Syrian government custody," the senators wrote to Kerry.

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