The responsibility to make sure all of our men and women in uniform return from battle, especially those taken prisoner and held during war, is deeply personal to me as someone who has worn the uniform of my country – and as someone who was deeply involved in those efforts with respect to the unfinished business of the war in which I fought. Our nation has a sober and solemn duty to ensure that every single American who signs up to serve our country comes home. The cost of years of captivity to Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and his family is immeasurable. Today, we are heartened that Sergeant Bergdahl will soon be reunited with his family and friends, from whom he has been apart for far too long.
I extend my personal gratitude to the Government of Qatar – and especially to the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – who played such an instrumental role in returning Sergeant Bergdahl home. We work every day with Qatar on a range of critical foreign policy priorities. This effort – one that was personally so close to our hearts here – exemplifies how vital our partnership with Qatar is and will remain.
I spoke today with Afghan President Karzai to brief him on this development and to discuss President Obama’s announcement this week about our efforts there. As we look to the future in Afghanistan, the United States will continue to support steps that improve the climate for conversations between Afghans about how to end the bloodshed in their country through an Afghan-led reconciliation process. As we’ve said, we look forward to working with the next President of Afghanistan and to standing side-by-side with the Afghan Government and the Afghan people as they build a secure, stable, sovereign, and unified country.