KABUL, hopes the development will contribute to the success of intra-Afghan peace negotiations.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement: “The Taliban have indicated the release of the two professors is intended as a goodwill gesture, which the United States welcomes.”
American citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, who were abducted in 2016, were freed in southern Zabul province on Tuesday.
Pompeo viewed the development as hopeful signs that the Afghan war, a costly conflict that has lasted 40 years, would come to an end soon through a political settlement.
Separately, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the former hostages were 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 (three-year) captivity, and wish them well as they reunite with their loved ones in the near future,” Grisham added.
In Kabul, the American University of Afghanistan welcomed news of the release of its professors, freed in a swap for three high-ranking Taliban.
The university said it shared the relief of the families of Kevin and Timothy and would look to provide all the support them and their families.