The U.S. soldier released from captivity in Afghanistan as part of a controversial swap with Taliban detainees was said to be stable in a hospital on Monday as debate continued to swirl over the exchange.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had been held for five years as the only known American prisoner of war before being sprung Saturday as part of a deal that also saw five Guantánamo Bay inmates freed.
As debate in the U.S. and Afghanistan continued over the decision to order the exchange, the 28-year-old was transported first to Bagram air base near Kabul and then Germany’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
On Monday the hospital said Bergdahl remained in a stable condition while doctors oversee treatment that includes "attention to dietary and nutrition needs."
The center declined to release further details about his medical condition because of patient privacy laws but said in a statement that "there is no predetermined amount of time involved in the reintegration process" for Bergdahl.
Meanwhile, the exchange for five senior Taliban officials continues to attract significant criticism from a number of quarters.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is said to have fumed over being kept in the dark over the deal and accuses Washington of failing to back a peace plan for the war-torn country, a senior Afghan government source said on Monday.
But U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham, speaking to reporters in Kabul, said the Karzai administration had been made aware of the impending prisoner swap.
"It's not behind the government's back. The government's known that we're trying to [do] this for a long time, and they agreed to it, and they supported it," he said.
"The only thing that was not transparent to anybody was the actual timing — the fact that there was an agreement and the timing. It certainly doesn't undermine the government, and they never expressed any concern to us that it would undermine the government."
Karzai, who has been fiercely critical of the White House in recent years, has yet to comment publicly on the swap, which is likely to deepen his mistrust of the U.S.
He is due to step down as president later this year, but many Afghans believe Karzai will continue to wield considerable influence over policy behind the scenes.
Karzai's press office said in a statement that the U.S. deal to transfer the Taliban militants from a Guantánamo Bay jail to Qatar violated international law.
"No government can transfer citizens of a country to a third country as prisoners," said the statement, issued on behalf of the Foreign Ministry.
The prisoner swap has stoked widespread anger in Afghanistan, where many view it as a sign of a U.S. desire to disengage from the country as quickly as possible.
Washington has mapped out a plan to fully withdraw all its troops by the end of 2016.
While the Taliban agreed to the deal, it made clear that it would not pave the way for a larger peace process.
"It won't help the peace process in any way because we don't believe in the peace process," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Sunday.
In the U.S., meanwhile, some on Capitol Hill worried that the deal could set a troubling precedent; one Republican called it shocking. Arizona Sen. John McCain said of the five Guantánamo detainees, "These are the hardest of the hard core."
Al Jazeera and wire services