The White House on Tuesday insisted there were no "active negotiations" with the Taliban to secure the release of a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009, amid reports that the government was considering a prisoner swap involving Guantánamo Bay detainees.
"We have long said that we support an Afghan-led process, reconciliation process with the Taliban. And we are not involved in any negotiations with the Taliban, active negotiations, but if negotiations were to resume, we would certainly want to discuss the fate of Sergeant [Bowe] Bergdahl," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
The White House spokesman said he couldn't detail U.S. efforts on Bergdahl's behalf, but that they included "our military, or intelligence, and our diplomatic tools."
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the administration was prepared to offer release for five members of the Afghan Taliban held at Guantánamo.
According to the report, the administration had originally offered to release the prisoners over time, rather than simultaneously, to ensure that they did not return to fighting against the United States.
Carney said he would not "discuss all the details of our efforts," without closing the door on a possible release of Guantánamo detainees.
“With respect to Guantánamo, the president reiterated when he signed the fiscal year 2014 Defense Authorization 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,” said Carney.
He also said that Bergdahl's saga had "gone on far too long."
"We are very concerned about him, and our hearts go out to his family and we have great sympathy for them. They've been going through quite an ordeal," he said.