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U.S. State Department Issues Public Warning Questioning Saudi Arabia and UAE's Intentions in Qatar Rift

U.S. State Department Issues Public Warning Questioning Saudi Arabia and UAE’s Intentions in Qatar Rift

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made the Qatar crisis his main priority and cleared his travel schedule this week. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images) The State Department issued an unusual public warning to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday over a diplomatic rift with fellow U.S. ally Qatar, and suggested that the Saudis may have provoked a crisis and drawn in the United States on…

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Via the New York Times:

The lone American prisoner of war from the Afghan conflict, captured by insurgents nearly five years ago, has been released to American forces in exchange for five Taliban prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Obama administration officials said Saturday.

The soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was handed over to American Special Operations forces inside Afghanistan about 10:30 a.m. Saturday by a group of 18 Taliban, officials said. They said Sergeant Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

The five Taliban prisoners at Guantánamo were being transferred to the custody of officials from Qatar, who will accompany them back to that Persian Gulf state, where they will be subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban. Qatari officials acted as intermediaries as the swap was negotiated.

The sergeant’s parents, Bob and Jani Bergdahl, said in a statement: “We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home! We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son.”

One Defense Department official said that once Sergeant Bergdahl was safely aboard an American military helicopter, he wrote on a paper plate with a pen — because it was so loud — “S.F.?” seeking to find out if his rescuers were American Special Forces.

One soldier yelled back, “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time,” at which point, the official said, Sergeant Bergdahl broke down crying.