Thursday, June 20, 2013

Taliban offer to swap American hostage for Guantanamo Bay inmates

    Thursday, June 20, 2013   No comments

The Taliban have laid out one of their key demands, saying they would free a captured American soldier in exchange for five prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

The offer – which proved one of the sticking points during earlier talks which were shelved last year – follows the opening of a Taliban political office in the Qatari capital Doha and continuing uncertainty about whether President Hamid Karzai would give his blessing to negotiations.

American diplomats have been desperately trying to placate the furious Afghan leader, incensed that the Taliban were allowed to raise their flag in Qatar.

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, from Idaho, disappeared from his base in south-eastern Afghanistan in June 2009.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press news agency from his Doha office, Shaheen Suhail, Taliban spokesman, said on Thursday that Bergdahl “is, as far as I know, in good condition.”
He added that the prisoner exchange was the first item on the Taliban’s agenda and could be used to build trust with the US.



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