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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

World

Not involved in any negotiations with Taliban: US
PTI
Washington, February 19, 2014
First Published: 09:49 IST(19/2/2014)
Last Updated: 09:53 IST(19/2/2014)

The US has said that it is not involved in active negotiations with the Taliban, but would want to discuss the fate of its soldier held hostage by insurgents since 2009 if the talks were to resume.

"We are not involved in active negotiations with the Taliban. Clearly, if negotiations do resume, at some point then we will want to talk with the Taliban about the safe return of Sergeant Bergdahl," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"He has been gone far too long, and we continue to call for and work towards his safe and immediate release. We have long supported an Afghan-led peace process, and we'll continue to do so. When it comes to Sergeant Bergdahl our hearts go out to his family. We have great sympathy for them," Carney said.

He said he could not discuss the details of US efforts, but "there should be no doubt that we work every day, using our military, our intelligence and our diplomatic tools, to see Sergeant Bergdahl returned home safely".

Without divulging much about the efforts being pursued by the United States in this regard, Carney said all efforts are being made by the administration.

"In the meantime, we are actively engaged in an effort to see his return. I can't document every effort, but that includes our military, our intelligence and our diplomatic tools," Carney said.

However, he did not refute reports that the US is considering a prisoners swap to free Sergeant Robert Bergdahl in exchange for Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

"With respect to Guantanamo, the President reiterated when he signed the fiscal year 2014 Defence Authorisation Act that this administration will not transfer a detainee unless the threat the detainee may pose can be sufficiently mitigated and only when consistent with our humane treatment policy," he said.


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