President Obama and the parents of released US soldier Bowe Bergdahl held a press conference at the White House on Saturday.
Jani Bergdahl said she was grateful to everyone who had helped free her son: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported Bowe. He’s had a wonderful team. We will continue to stay strong for Bo while he recovers.”
Obama paid tribute to Qatar for its part in securing Bergdahl’s release: “We worked for several years to achieve this goal and early this week I was able to personally thank the Emir of Qatar for his leadership in helping us getting it done. The Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security.”
Amongst local people in Washington there was a mixed response to the negotiations that had been involved. One man said: “We’re getting one for five, is that what we’re getting?” Another said: “I thought we don’t negotiate. But I guess we do. But I’m glad about him. I’ve read about him. I was hoping he was released, so I’m glad he is.”