President Bush is pleased by the release today of John McCarthy by his captors in Lebanon. Rumors persist of the release of an American hostage, but we still have no direct information that such a release will occur. While we are happy for the family of Mr. McCarthy, we reiterate our appeal that all hostages be released immediately, safely, and unconditionally.
We remain in touch with our Ambassador in Lebanon and other officials in the region through diplomatic channels. Our State Department Reception Team left Washington last evening and is now in Wiesbaden, Germany. We will contact the British Government to obtain any information that Mr. McCarthy has regarding the condition of American hostages with whom he was held in tragic captivity in Lebanon. We are in frequent contact with the families of the American hostages and our thoughts and prayers are with them. We continue to hope and pray that all hostages will be released.