'CIA chief secretly met with Taliban's deputy head'

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Central Investigation Agency chief William Burns
Central Investigation Agency chief William Burns

Washington [US], August 24 (ANI): The Central Investigation Agency (CIA) chief held a secret meeting with Taliban's deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday citing anonymous US officials.

William Burns, head of US federal intelligence agency and Baradar met on Monday, so far the highest-level meeting between the Taliban and the Biden administration after Kabul was overtaken by the terror group over a week ago.

The CIA has not commented on the matter yet, however, it is believed that the meeting included discussion on the extension of the August 31 deadline for withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported.

Burns, one of the most decorated diplomats in the Biden administration, has played key roles in Foreign Service.

Nearly 11 years ago, Baradar was arrested by the CIA in a joint US-Pakistan mission and put behind bars for eight years. Soon after his release in 2018, the Taliban leader initiated peace negotiations with the US.

On Monday, the Taliban had refused to extend the August 31 deadline for US troops' withdrawal.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News that the group would not give the US and the UK any extra time to continue evacuations from Afghanistan stating that if the deadline was not met "there would be consequences." (ANI)

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