18:13 GMT31 May 2020
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    The US government is set to announce policy changes on how it secures a safe return for American hostages held abroad, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Thursday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Calls for the United States to review its hostage policy have increased as the Islamic State has increasingly relied on funding its operations from ransom payments. However, US officials have said that not paying hostage ransom is an important part of its strategy to defeat the Islamic State.

    “I would anticipate that we would have some more details soon as it relates to some policy changes that we believe would make our government even more effective in leveraging all of our assets to try to secure the return of American hostages.”

    The administration of President Barack Obama has stated that Washington would not pay ransom for Americans held hostage abroad despite reviewing the existing US hostage policy.

    "What the President has acknowledged and what his team is diligently working on is a review of the process that the administration carries out for handling these cases, and communicating with the families of those who are being held hostage and there are a number of proposals that have been circulated,” Earnest said.


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