Today, the United States welcomes the release of Professors Kevin King and Timothy Weeks. King, an American, and Weeks, an Australian, were professors at the American University of Afghanistan when they were kidnapped at gunpoint in August 2016. Both men were successfully recovered today and are currently receiving medical care and other support from the United States Government. We pray for the full recovery of both men, who endured significant hardship during their captivity, and wish them well as they reunite with their loved ones in the near future.
We thank the Afghan government for its actions, in the spirit of our partnership that enabled the freeing of the hostages. President Ashraf Ghani has taken many courageous steps in the cause of peace. He extended an offer to talk to the Taliban without preconditions almost two years ago. Furthermore, he called for a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr in 2018, which the Taliban reciprocated, and which demonstrated the Afghans’ overwhelming desire for peace.
President Trump has no higher priority than the safety and security of American citizens. The Trump Administration continues to work tirelessly to secure the freedom of Americans, and citizens of our allies, held in captivity. As we work for peace, the Trump Administration will continue to work to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to launch terrorist attacks against the United States and our allies.