US President Donald Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he hopes the release of two professors by the Taliban on Tuesday will “pave the way” for a ceasefire and help facilitate peace in Afghanistan.
“We join families of Kevin King and Tim Weeks in celebrating their release from Taliban captivity. Thanks to President Ghani for his courageous support. Let’s hope this leads to more good things on the peace front like a ceasefire that will help end this long war. Proud of my team!” Trump tweeted.
Kevin King, 63, from the US, and Timothy Weeks, 50, from Australia, were professors at the American University in Afghanistan in Kabul and were abducted by the Haqqani Network in August 2016.
Both men were freed by the Taliban in the southern province of Zabul on Tuesday following the release of three Haqqani commanders on Monday evening, sources said. Anas Haqqani, Haji Mail Khan and Hafiz Rashid were flown from Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan to Qatar, where, according to sources, they will remain under “house arrest.”
On November 12, President Ghani at a press conference confirmed that the three Haqqani Network commanders had been “conditionally released” in exchange for the release of the two foreign professors, in the interest of a peace settlement.