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A White House official visited Damascus and discussed the issue of foreign detainees

WASHINGTON - ALsharqiya, October 19: A US administration official said that a White House official traveled to Damascus earlier this year to hold secret meetings with the Syrian government seeking the release of at least two American citizens that Washington believes are being held by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

 Reuters quoted the official, who requested anonymity, as saying that Cash Patel, deputy aide to President Donald Trump and the most senior counterterrorism official in the White House, had visited Damascus.

 The Wall Street Journal reported that US officials had expressed hope for a deal with Assad to allow the release of Austin Tice, a journalist and former Marine officer and Majid Kamalmaz, a Syrian-American doctor.

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