The CIA director secretly met with the Taliban leader to discuss the current humanitarian evacuation of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. Neither the US nor the Taliban has confirmed the meeting has taken place.
Reuters news agency, citing some inside sources, said that CIA Director William J. Burns on August 23 secretly flew to the Afghan capital Kabul to meet the number two figure of the Taliban, the Taliban. Mr. Abdul Ghani Baradar to discuss the humanitarian evacuation of the US and its current allies.
Neither the CIA nor the White House declined to comment on the meeting, while a Taliban spokesman said it was not immediately known that Burns had traveled to Afghanistan to speak with Ghani Baradar.
If confirmed, this would be the highest-level direct contact between the US and the Taliban after the force entered Kabul on August 15.
It is not clear what the two sides exchanged. Sources told The Washington Post that the discussion between Mr. Burns and Mr. Baradar could involve extending the evacuation period beyond August 31. NBC and Fox News stations also cited their own sources of information about the meeting and made similar assessments.
According to Reuters, the Taliban recently repeatedly warned that there would be consequences if the US and its allies continued to stay in Afghanistan after this time. The administration of President Joe Biden continues to insist that the evacuation operation can be completed by August 31, but Britain, France, and other allies say this goal is impossible.
About the character Abdul Ghani Baradar, he was arrested by Pakistani intelligence forces with CIA support in Pakistan in February 2010 and served 8 years in prison. After his release, he became the Taliban’s top negotiator in negotiations with the US in Qatar. In November 2020, he took a photo with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Mr. Abdul Ghani Baradar (center) attended the peace conference in Moscow, Russia on May 3-2021.
In the opposite direction, CIA Director William J. Burns served as the US deputy secretary of state and for a time took on the role of US ambassador to Russia.
In a hearing before the US Congress in March, he once said that the terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan today such as the Islamic State (IS) or al-Qaida are not capable of attacking. the terrorist attack on US territory.
However, if Mr. Biden continues to withdraw troops, it may affect his ability to respond in the event of security threats in the region.