CIA Head Secretly Met With Taliban Leader Baradar in Kabul

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Abdul Ghani Baradar
Abdul Ghani Baradar

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns held an unannounced meeting with the de facto leader of the Taliban (banned in Russia as a terrorist organization), Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul, The Washington Post newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing US officials familiar with the matter.

The meeting took place on Monday and marked the highest personal encounter between the group and President Joe Biden’s administration since the Taliban takeover, the newspaper said, noting that the top US spy met with the chief of the Taliban’s political office as countries across the world are undertaking an unprecedented evacuation effort in Kabul.

The CIA refused to comment on the matter, the news outlet said, suggesting that the agenda likely included the extension of the August 31 deadline for the exit of foreign troops and citizens.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News on Monday that the group would not give the United States and the United Kingdom any extra time to continue evacuations from Afghanistan, saying “there would be consequences” if the deadline is not met. Biden is expected to announce his decision on the matter during the virtual G7 leaders’ meeting on Tuesday.

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