CIA Director William Burns has met with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul, according to unnamed US officials cited by the Washington Post and Associated Press.
The meeting came amid the ongoing evacuations at the Kabul airport, the AP source said.
About 16,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, according to the Pentagon, as US troops lead an increasingly desperate effort to airlift thousands more before the Taliban’s “red line” for Western forces to leave the country.
US President Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to extend an August 31 deadline to pull out American forces, with Britain expected to lobby for that at a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday.
Here are the latest updates:
Russia ready to mediate alongside China, US, Pakistan
Russia, China, the US and Pakistan are interested in serving as middlemen in resolving the crisis in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says.
CIA director met Taliban leader Mullah Baradar in Kabul: Report
CIA Director William Burns has met with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul, the Washington Post and Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed US officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The official told The Associated Press the meeting between Burns and Baradar came on Monday amid ongoing evacuations at Kabul airport.
The Washington Post first reported Burns’ meeting with Baradar. The US official confirmed the report on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.
Anti-Taliban fighters dig in to defend Panjshir Valley
Atop a craggy mountain that has withstood foreign invaders for decades, anti-Taliban fighters set up and test their weapons.
They are members of the National Resistance Front (NRF) – the most prominent Afghan opposition group to emerge since the Taliban captured Kabul nine days ago.
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