Trump thanks Khan, Ghani for helping with hostages’ release

International

FILE – In this May 3, 2019, photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks on the last day of the Afghan Loya Jirga meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan. Taliban officials have told The Associated Press that three Taliban prisoners released by Kabul have been flown to Qatar for a swap for an American and an Australian hostage held by the insurgents. The three Taliban prisoners were to have been freed more than one week ago by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has called Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan and Afghan president Ashraf Ghani to thank them for facilitating the release of an American and an Australian who were held hostage by the Taliban since 2016.

Trump made separate calls Thursday to Khan and Ghani days after the Taliban — in exchange for three top Taliban figures — freed American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks in southern Afghanistan.

According to a government statement, Khan “reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the advancement of Afghan peace and reconciliation process for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.”

In Kabul, Ghani’s office said the Afghan leader briefed Trump on the government’s peace plan and Trump emphasized the need for a peace process owned and inclusive of the Afghan government.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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