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CIA Director William Burns met Taliban leader in Afghanistan on Monday: reports

CIA Director William Burns met Taliban leader in Afghanistan on Monday: reports
August 24, 2021 Web Desk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden sent the head of the CIA to meet the Taliban's leader on Monday in the highest level diplomatic encounter since the militant group took over the Afghan capital, US media reports said on Tuesday.

The Washington Post, citing US officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns met Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday as the Biden administration evacuated US citizens and other allies amid chaos at Kabul airport ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline.

A CIA representatives said the agency had no comment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

NBC News also reported that Burns and Baradar met, citing a senior diplomat in the region and another source familiar with the matter. Fox News also reported the meeting, citing one unnamed US official.

Biden last week said US troops may stay in Afghanistan past the deadline next week in order to evacuate Americans. On Monday, two Taliban sources told Reuters it would not extend the deadline for Western forces to leave.