Case of kidnapped American Mark Frerichs will weigh on Taliban’s legitimacy -U.S. official Reuters by way of

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Taliban fighters prepare with their weapons in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan July 14, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

By Simon Lewis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The USA has pressed the Taliban to return Mark Frerichs, an American kidnapped in Afghanistan, and his case will weigh on the legitimacy of any future Taliban-led authorities, a senior U.S. official mentioned on Wednesday.

Frerichs’ household had visited the State Division this week to debate his case, the official mentioned, after the Taliban took management of the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday amid an evacuation of U.S. residents, Western diplomats and their Afghan allies.

Frerichs, who labored in Afghanistan on development initiatives and was kidnapped in early February 2020, is believed to have been held in Taliban custody, the official mentioned. The State Division final yr supplied a reward of as much as $5 million for data in his case.

The official, who spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned Frerichs’ case had been repeatedly raised by U.S. negotiators throughout talks with the Taliban in Doha, and Washington would think about whether or not the group had revered the worldwide norm towards hostage-taking when deciding whether or not to acknowledge a future authorities.

“It might be laborious for us to have a traditional relationship with any authorities that’s holding somebody on this approach,” the official mentioned of Frerichs’ detention.