Trump praises Afghanistan's Ghani for helping with hostages' release


According to Aljazeera, President Donald Trump has said he hopes the release of two Western prisoners held hostage by the Afghan Taliban this week could help pave the way to an end to the war in Afghanistan.

He said Qatar has played a significant role in releasing two foreign professors kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Presidential Palace, earlier today in a statement, said that Trump has invited his Afghan counterpart Mohammed Ashraf Ghani to visit the USA which was accepted by the latter.

Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to the advancement of the Afghan peace and reconciliation process aimed at achieving a stable Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Australian Timothy Weeks, 50, and Kevin King, 63, an American, were handed over to USA forces in Afghanistan's southern Zabul province.

Former military leaders who served in Afghanistan have repeatedly warned Trump that failure to involve the Afghan administration in negotiations will boost the morale of the Taliban, which has frequently refused to hold direct talks with Kabul. The prime minister also apprised the United States president of the current situation in the occupied valley, underscoring that over eight million people remain under siege for over 100 days now.

Three terrorists, including Anas Haqqani, was released from Bagram prison.

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The premier appreciated President Trump's continued engagement as well as his offer to mediate the Kashmir dispute.

Both leaders discussed bilateral ties and regional issues.

After the release of two professors this week, President Trump called to thank Imran Khan in view of facilitation extended by Pakistan. Additionally, the Taliban also released 10 Afghan soldiers as a "goodwill gesture".

The legislation comes after President Trump in September declared peace talks with the Taliban "dead".

Chief U.S. peace negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Friday he was hopeful the prisoner swap would lead to "a reduction in violence and rapid progress" toward a political settlement involving the Afghan government, the Taliban and other Afghan leaders.

The Taliban remains strongly opposed to any peace talks with the Kabul administration, dismissing it as an American puppet.