US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he hopes a prisoner-exchange deal with the Taliban that led to the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl after five years might lead to breakthroughs in reconciliation with the Afghan militants.
Bergdahl, the last US prisoner of the Afghan war, was handed over to US special forces yesterday in an exchange swap for five Taliban detainees who were released from Guantanamo Bay prison and flown to Qatar.
Hagel said: "This was a prisoner of war exchange ... our focus was on the return of Sergeant Bergdahl and maybe this could provide some possible new bridge for new negotiations."
"The timing was right, the pieces came together," he added.
More top news
Mild in the south but colder in the north tonight and turning frosty and icy - before rain moves in.
The flame-haired prince told youngsters in Africa he did not enjoy Eton and is "much cooler" than his older brother.
Some Scottish social media users were left confused when Facebook offered them a Romanian flag, not a Saltire, to mark St Andrew's Day.