World: Trump thanks Qatar's emir over role in Taliban hostages release - - PressFrom - Australia
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World Trump thanks Qatar's emir over role in Taliban hostages release

23:20  22 november  2019
23:20  22 november  2019 Source:   aljazeera.com

NSW man in Taliban hostage exchange imminent

  NSW man in Taliban hostage exchange imminent Timothy Weeks is expected to undergo an extensive medical examination before flying to Australia and being reunited with his family.Expectations are he could be released along with co-hostage American professor Kevin King as early as Thursday after a hostage-swap deal was negotiated between his Taliban captors and the Afghan government.

Qatar ' s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Donald Trump held a telephone call on Friday [File: Alex Brandon/AP]. Doha said it had played an instrumental role in their release this week. " Qatar welcomes these releases as goodwill gestures by the Taliban and the Government of

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. Note to users: Comments on News4Jax.com are migrating over to our new website.

Donald Trump, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani are posing for a picture: Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Donald Trump held a telephone call on Friday [File: Alex Brandon/AP]© [File: Alex Brandon/AP] Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Donald Trump held a telephone call on Friday [File: Alex Brandon/AP]

US President Donald Trump has thanked Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the Gulf country's efforts in facilitating the release of two Western hostages held by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Qatar's official news agency has reported.

The emir and Trump held a telephone call on Friday in which the US president "expressed his sincere thanks" to the emir "for its active role in facilitating the release of the two hostages who were held in Afghanistan", the Qatar News Agency (QNA) said.

Analysis: Why the Taliban's holding of Australian Timothy Weeks has gone largely unnoticed until now

  Analysis: Why the Taliban's holding of Australian Timothy Weeks has gone largely unnoticed until now Timothy Weeks has been a hostage for three years. Here's why the public are often intentionally kept in the dark and why the process of hostage negotiation can take so long.These were the words of Australian English teacher Timothy Weeks as he spoke in a video message recorded by his Taliban captors in June 2017.

ISLAMABAD — 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.

Senior leaders of the Taliban are currently stationed in Doha, Qatar . The original purpose for the Taliban leaders’ presence in Qatar was to open an office that would facilitate political reconciliation

During the phone call, they "reviewed the strategic relations" between the two countries and "ways of enhancing them", in addition to "discussing the latest regional and international developments", QNA said.

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Qatar on Thursday welcomed the release of US national Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, the two university professors held hostage in Afghanistan by the Taliban, according to a report by the Reuters news agency.

Doha said it had played an instrumental role in their release this week. "Qatar welcomes these releases as goodwill gestures by the Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan to advance peace and bring an end to war in Afghanistan," Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Afghanistan prisoner swap delayed, complicating efforts to restart talks with Taliban

  Afghanistan prisoner swap delayed, complicating efforts to restart talks with Taliban The deal would have freed two professors for three Taliban-linked militants and may have helped restart U.S.-Taliban negotiations.The emergence of significant snags early on highlights the difficulty of getting the two sides back to the negotiating table. The Taliban has long refused to negotiate directly with the Afghan government.

“Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!” Qatar has long been accused of funneling money to the Those contradictory roles may explain the mixed signals the administration sent after Saudi In Washington, Qatar ’ s ambassador, Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, expressed surprise at Mr. Trump ’s tweets.

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. Note to users: Comments on WSLS.com are migrating over to our new website.

Hostages released

On Tuesday, King and Weeks - kidnapped in August 2016 outside Kabul's American University of Afghanistan where both worked - were freed in return for the release of three Taliban commanders.

Sources told Al Jazeera that the commanders, including senior Taliban leader Anas Haqqani, landed in Qatar, which hosts the group's political office at the request of the United States, and has hosted several rounds of peace talks.

The swap was seen as key to securing direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, who have, until now, refused to engage with what they call a "puppet" regime in Kabul.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the release on Tuesday. "The developments give us hope for the success of intra-Afghan peace negotiations, which the United States stands ready to support," he said.

The US and the Taliban spent much of this year discussing a plan for the withdrawal of US troops in exchange for Taliban security guarantees.

But Trump halted the talks in September following the death of a US soldier and 11 people in a Taliban bomb attack in Kabul.

America's top general 'optimistic' U.S.-Taliban talks will resume .
"I think we're in a better place than we've been, doesn't mean we are there yet though," said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.Asked whether the Taliban's release of two Western hostages earlier this month, including an American, had increased the chance of negotiations, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley responded Wednesday that they were "higher than I've seen.

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