Taliban offer to free US soldier in exchange for Guantanamo prisoners

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The Afghan Taliban say they are ready to hand over a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives being held at Guantanamo Bay, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai is now willing to join peace talks in Qatar.

The Taliban’s offer follows this week’s official opening of a Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar, where U.S., Taliban representatives and Afghanistan’s High Peace Council are expected to hold peace talks.

U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho is the only known American soldier held captive from the Afghan war. He disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and is believed held in Pakistan.

In an interview with the Associated Press from the Doha office, Taliban spokesman Shaheen Suhail said on Thursday that Bergdahl “is, as far as I know, in good condition.”

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