The White House Press Secretary, Mr. Ronald Ziegler, said in Washington last night (14 September)?
TV White House
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ 2): ZIEGLER: "The bearer of the United States passport carries with him prima facie evidence of United States citizenship. The holding of United States citizens as hostages is totally unacceptable by the United States Government. We deplore and denounce the holding of hostages by an nation or group. The illegal detention of United States citizens in a dispute involving another nation is particularly reprehensible. The United States rejects any attempt to establish distinctions among its citizens on any basis whatsoever."
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Background: The White House Press Secretary, Mr. Ronald Ziegler, said in Washington last night (14 September) that the United States "deplored and denounced" the holding of hi-jack hostages from any nation. His statement came as the United States and other nations involved in the Middle East Hi-jacking drama were trying to find a formula to obtain the release of 54 hostages held by Arab commandos after the three jet hijackings last week.
Mr. Ziegler added that the United States rejected any attempt to establish distinctions concerning the nationality of the hijack hostages:
Questioned afterwards by reporters, Mr. Ziegler declined to link the statement to the roundup of several hundred Arabs by Israel during the weekend.