U.S. President Obama visits family of journalist slain by ISIS

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia May 25, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama met on Thursday with the family of American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded last year by Islamic State militants.

The White House said Obama met with Sotloff's parents Art and Shirley and his sister, Lauren, while he was in Florida for fundraising and a briefing on the upcoming hurricane season.

"The president expressed his and the first lady’s condolences for Steven’s death," White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

"He appreciated the chance to hear from the Sotloffs more about Steven’s work as a journalist, including his passion for bringing the stories of people who are suffering to the rest of the world in the hope of making a positive difference, including in Syria."

Last September, the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS, released a video purporting to show the beheading of Sotloff, a 31-year old freelance journalist who was kidnapped in Syria in August 2013.

Sotloff had reported from across the Middle East and covered events in Libya for Time Magazine.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Toni Reinhold)