The White House announced Saturday that an American soldier held captive by the Taliban since 2009 will be released in exchange for five prisoners held in the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
“Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years,” the White House said in a press release Saturday.
Army Sgt. Bergdahl, an Idaho native and the last known American captive of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was reportedly handed over to American Special Operations forces in Afghanistan Saturday morning.
“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” the White house said. “Today we also remember the many troops held captive and whom remain missing or unaccounted for in America’s past wars. Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield. And as we find relief in Bowe’s recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with those other Americans whose release we continue to pursue.”
The White House also thanked Afghan and Quatar officials for assisting in Bergdahl’s release.
“For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier’s return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Amir of Qatar. The Amir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries. The United States is also grateful for the support of the Government of Afghanistan throughout our efforts to secure Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.”