Taliban

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.

As Pentagon chief makes surprise visit to Kabul, so does Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, Oct. 17
Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top U.S. lawmakers met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, her office confirmed Sunday night. Defense Secretary Mark Esper was also in Kabul in an effort to restart stalled peace talks with the Taliban.

Details: President Trump had previously declared the peace talks "dead" after a Taliban bombing killed an American soldier in September. The issue of the Taliban was high on the agenda for the congressional delegation.