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CIA director met Taliban leader in Afghanistan on Monday -sources

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By Reuters
CIA director met Taliban leader in Afghanistan on Monday -sources
CIA director met Taliban leader in Afghanistan on Monday -sources   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden sent CIA Director William Burns to meet Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday in the highest level official encounter since the militant group took over the Afghan capital, a U.S. official and a source familiar with government activity told Reuters on Tuesday.

Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Biden administration has been evacuating U.S. citizens and other allies amid chaos at Kabul airport ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline to pull out of Afghanistan.

The Washington Post, citing U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, first reported the meeting.

The White House and a CIA representative declined to comment. A Taliban spokesman said he was not aware if Baradar met the CIA chief.

Biden last week said U.S. troops may stay in Afghanistan past his Aug. 31 deadline in order to evacuate Americans.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Tuesday the group had not agreed to extend the deadline for evacuation and they wanted all foreign evacuations to be completed by Aug. 31.