Obama announces release of US soldier held in Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama said Saturday that an American soldier held for half a decade in Afghanistan has been freed.

“Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive for nearly five years,” said Obama, announcing his release.

“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.”

In his statement, Obama expressed his “deepest appreciation” to the Emir of Qatar “for his assistance in helping to secure our soldier’s return.”

“The Emir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries,” the president said.

He added: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield,” Obama added.

“And as we find relief in Bowe’s recovery, our thoughts and prayers are with those other Americans whose release we continue to pursue.”

Since his capture in 2009, Bergdahl has appeared in several Taliban videos.


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