CIA director met with Taliban leader amid chaos in Kabul

The meeting between Burns and Abdul Ghani Baradar constitutes the highest level exchange of views between the two parties since the Taliban seized control of the capital.

By Donna Rachel Edmunds, World Israel News

CIA Director William Burns, met with the head of the Taliban in Kabul on Monday on orders of U.S. President Joe Biden, The Washington Post first reported, as the administration seeks a better understanding of the Taliban’s views ahead of the August 31 deadline for withdrawal of troops from the country.

The meeting between Burns and Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy leader of the militant group, constitutes the highest level exchange of views between the two parties since the Taliban seized control of the capital just over a week ago.

Since then the country has witnessed scenes of chaos as Americans race to exit the country, many caught unprepared for such a swift take over by the Taliban. The Biden Administration meanwhile has faced fierce criticism for its handling of the withdrawal process.

President Biden has indicated that U.S. troops may stay in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline in order to help evacuate Americans. However, on Monday, Taliban sources said the group will not extend the deadline for Allied forces to leave and warned of consequences if the evacuation is not completed on time.

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A US official told CNN the meeting was “an exchange of views on what needs to happen to be done” by the deadline.

Another said that the choice of Burns to attend the meeting is indicative of the administration’s view that he is the one of the most trusted and experienced diplomats on Biden’s team.

Both the CIA and the White House have refused to comment.