US President Donald Trump in a phone conversation on Thursday thanked President Ghani for his cooperation in the release of two AUAF professors and invited Ghani for an official visit to the US, which Ghani accepted, Palace spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter late Thursday.
Sediqqi reported that the two leaders spoke about the peace process:
“President Trump also stated that for any process to succeed, the Afghan government’s inclusion in the talks and their ownership and leadership of the process from the outset is imperative, which must begin immediately.”
Notably, Sediqqi tweeted that in response to a discussion of Ghani’s “7-point peace plan,” President Trump “insisted on a ceasefire as precondition before negotiations,” but a White House statement that summarized the call only mentioned a “reduction of violence” as being "necessary" to “move the peace process forward.”
The White House statement in full:
“Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to express appreciation for President Ghani’s support in freeing hostages Kevin King and Timothy Weeks. President Trump affirmed the important role of the Afghan government in its country’s peace process. Both sides agreed a reduction in violence is necessary to move the peace process forward and for any intra-Afghan negotiations regarding a political settlement to be successful.”
The conversation took place as Ghani is on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The two leaders also discussed Afghan security and defense forces, Sediqqi said, with both sides praising the progress made by the Afghan forces in various areas, notably in their clearing of Daesh fighters from Nangarhar province.
President Ghani visited Nangarhar province on Tuesday, saying the “elimination” of Daesh in the province is a significant achievement not only for Afghanistan but regionally and internationally as well.