08/22/2014 08:21 am ET Updated Aug 22, 2014

James Foley's Parents Say They Had Hoped To Be Able To Negotiate With ISIS

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James Foley's parents spoke to "Today" on Friday about their son's courage and their hope for the other journalists held captive in Syria.

It was their first television interview since their son, an American war journalist taken captive in Syria, was beheaded by Islamic State militants. They told the media on Wednesday that they were "so proud" of James.

On Friday, Foley's father John described receiving the final email from his son's captors, who threatened to execute James. "I did not realize how brutal they were and I hoped we would be able to engage in negotiations with them," he said.

Video of James Foley's beheading surfaced on Tuesday, and also threatened to execute Steven Sotloff, another American journalist, next. The Committee to Protect Journalists has said it believes ISIS is holding "many more" journalists captive. Foley's parents said Friday that they hope Sotloff and the other hostages avoid their son's fate.

"We pray strongly that everything possible can be done to save Steven Sotloff and other American hostages," John Foley said. "We just pray that they will be set free," Diane Foley added.

They also revealed that Pope Francis had called them to offer his condolences.