Bowe Bergdahl

News that the Taliban is open to a prisoner swap is bringing renewed hope to supporters of a captive soldier from the Northwest.

Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, has been a Taliban prisoner for nearly four years now, and there's still no timeline for his return.

A senior Taliban spokesman in Doha, Qatar, told the Associated Press that the group would be willing to turn over Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay. It would be the first step – a confidence building measure – in wider negotiations over the future of Afghanistan.

The parents of Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl are hoping a message they recorded for his 27th birthday will reach him in captivity. Bergdahl remains America's only POW from the war in Afghanistan.

Bob and Jani Bergdahl recorded a message on KECH, a radio station in Idaho's Wood River Valley.

“Happy birthday, Bowe Bergdahl!” they said together.

“You're 27 years old today, if you forgot," Bob continued. "And you've been in Afghanistan for over four years now.”

U.S. Dept. of Defense

Commanders of the militant Haqqani Network say the U.S. decision to designate the group as a terrorist organization could have repercussions for a captive Idaho soldier. That’s according to reports out Friday from Reuters and NBC.

Northwest News Network

NPR is reporting the Taliban has shown a “change of heart” that could pave the way toward the release of Northwest soldier Bowe Bergdahl. The Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, was captured in Afghanistan three years ago. He’s the only known U.S. prisoner of war.

U.S. Department of Defense

A report this week from Reuters news service raises hopes there may be progress in efforts to get an Idaho soldier in Taliban captivity back onto U.S. soil. But the news about renewed negotiations also shows Bowe Bergdahl’s freedom is a key part of peace talks in Afghanistan.

the Bergdahl family

Saturday marks three years since a Northwest soldier was captured by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl -- now 26 years old -- is the nation’s only soldier known to be in enemy hands.

Northwest News Network

The Idaho parents of the only U.S. soldier in Taliban captivity say they want the Obama administration to negotiate a prisoner swap to bring their son home. Bob and Jani Bergdahl broke their long silence in new interviews, hoping to build public pressure for a deal.

YouTube

The deteriorating situation in Afghanistan may hinder the most likely avenue for bringing a captured Northwest soldier home safely. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, is the only known U.S. soldier in Taliban captivity.

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