US envoy pressed Taliban for release of American prisoners at Doha meeting: Patel

WASHINGTON — Vedant Patel, deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said Tuesday that Thomas West, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan, pressed the Taliban delegation at the Doha meeting for the release of two American citizens held in Taliban custody.

In response to a question about whether West raised the issue of the two detained Americans during the conference, Patel said, “They were. So during these meetings, Special Rep West pressed for the immediate and unconditional release of U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Afghanistan, noting that these detentions impede progress in the Taliban’s own desire for international recognition. U.S. officials continue to press for their release continuously and at every opportunity.”

Patel further elaborated that both Special Representative West and Special Envoy Rina Amiri met directly with Taliban representatives during the Doha 3 meetings to address the matter.

“So to widen the aperture a little bit, Special Representative Tom West and Special Envoy Amiri met directly with Taliban representatives during the Doha 3 meetings,” he added.

Previously, two senior U.S. national security officials told NBC News that two American citizens are currently imprisoned by the Taliban. One of the detainees, identified as Ryan Corbett, has been the subject of pressure from his family on U.S. officials to secure his release.

Claudia Tenney, a U.S. Congress member, stated earlier that Corbett has been detained by the Taliban in Afghanistan without any charges since August 20, 2022.