Taliban: We'll Free Only US POW in Afghanistan If...
...it gets 5 Taliban operatives held at Gitmo in return
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2013 7:50 AM CDT
This file image provided by IntelCenter on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 shows a frame grab from a video released by the Taliban containing footage of a man believed to be Bowe Bergdahl, left.   (AP Photo/IntelCenter, File)

(Newser) – The Taliban says it's willing to free the only US prisoner of war in Afghanistan—if the US will hand over five top Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who disappeared on June 30, 2009) "is, as far as I know, in good condition," a Taliban spokesman tells the AP in a phone interview. He explains that the group, which this week opened a political office in Doha, Qatar, is calling for the prisoner exchange to occur before any peace talks go ahead. "First has to be the release of detainees," the spokesman says. "Then step by step, we want to build bridges of confidence to go forward."

But there's another hurdle: Afghan president Hamid Karzai is fuming over what the Taliban is painting as an embassy of its own, and the fragile situation yesterday prompted the US to hold off on its talks, which were supposed to begin this week. The Guardian reports that one particular sticking point was the Taliban office's name: a sign identified it as the "Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." The US, Afghanistan, the Taliban, and Qatar had previously agreed to call it the "Political Office of the Afghan Taliban." That reportedly prompted Karzai to suspend separate security talks with the US, the Guardian reports; the sign will be replaced, reports the BBC.

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Showing 3 of 30 comments
apocalypso
Jun 24, 2013 8:06 AM CDT
LOL, you all weep over any ittybitty american death like it's the worst tragedy in history, but look at all your hateful rabid bloodlust for the torture and death of anyone brown who speaks a funny language. Eff you, you don't get to pick and choose which lives have value and which don't; If ALL life is not valuable, then no life is valuable, you nasty bunch of bloodthirsty hypocrites. You're all disposable and interchangeable, just dumb animals fighting over scraps of meat.
Matt
Jun 20, 2013 10:36 PM CDT
I'm rooting for the Taliban in this fight. I hope they torture the hell out of that American
Flyer3237
Jun 20, 2013 12:19 PM CDT
Here we go again. Sounds like the negotiations we had with the North Vietnamese Govt during the Vietnam crisis as we tried desperately to leave there gracefully! I say hang em high!