Nov 12, 2019

Ghani: Taliban to free American University hostages in prisoner swap

fghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani addresses U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and his delegation at the Presidential Palace on April 24, 2017 in in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Getty Images

The Afghan government will release three high-ranking militants on the condition that the Taliban frees two American University professors, President Ashraf Ghani announced Tuesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The teachers, U.S. citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, were captured by the Taliban outside the American University's Kabul campus in 2016, per AP.

  • Ghani said in a TV address he planned to release the "two senior Taliban commanders and a leader of the Haqqani militant group" in order to "pave the way for a face-to-face negotiations" with the militant group, Reuters reports.
  • He said he consulted with the "international community" and the U.S. before making the decision, per NBC News.

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Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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