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Taliban Cut Talks On U.S. Prisoner Exchange

U.S. army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was captured by Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009.
Afghanistan’s Taliban says it decided on February 23 to break off Qatar-mediated talks on a prisoner exchange with the United States because of “complexities.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement sent to RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that the decision is the result of a “current political crisis in Afghanistan.”

Washington has offered to release five Afghan Taliban from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into the protective custody of Qatar in exchange for U.S. army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009.

Bergdahl is now thought to be held in Pakistan by the Haqqani network.

The Taliban statement comes after Afghanistan’s High Peace Council said on February 22 that it met in Dubai for peace talks with a Taliban delegation.

Afghan Taliban fighters deny having links to any delegation in Dubai.

With additional reporting by Reuters and AP.