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Syria Making Serious Effort: Hostage's Sister

July 28, 1986|Associated Press

LARNACA, Cyprus — Peggy Say, sister of hostage Terry Anderson, said today that Syria is making a serious effort to free the remaining Americans held captive in Lebanon and urged the U.S. government to stop "tap-dancing" and do more for their release.

Say left here today for Athens en route to New York after a nine-day visit to Damascus, the Syrian capital, where she met numerous officials.

"I want the U.S. government to stop tap-dancing around the word negotiate ," Say said in an interview. "I want them to get out there and do it, like they did for other American hostages."

In another interview from Cyprus on NBC's "Today" show, she said, "I wish I would get the same kind of response from my own government that I got from the Syrian government, and that's a strong commitment to do what has to be done to bring these guys out."

Finds Foreign Concern

She said that in visiting Greece, Cyprus and Syria, she found the governments "seem somehow to place a value on (the American lives involved) that their own government doesn't."

Say, 45, of Batavia, N.Y., went to Damascus seeking help in her crusade to get the hostages freed.

She said when she arrived today at Larnaca airport that she was more optimistic her 38-year-old brother, chief Middle East correspondent of the Associated Press, will be released by the Shia Muslims who kidnaped him in Beirut on March 16, 1985.

She was in Damascus when kidnapers from the Islamic Jihad freed one of the hostages, Father Lawrence Jenco, 51, after 19 months.

She said she "was overjoyed that Father Jenco was released. I was so happy that at least one of them has gotten out.

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