CIA director meets Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul

Posted on August 24, 2021, 10:57 am
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KABUL: US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns secretly met Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Kabul on Monday.

According to sources, the two officials held a face-to-face meeting on the highest level since the Taliban took control over the Afghan capital city of Kabul.

While the details of their conversation weren’t disclosed, the encounter comes amid the pullout of American and other Western military forces from Afghanistan, with the deadline set to expire at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Western forces at Kabul airport worked flat out on Tuesday to get people out of Afghanistan before an August 31 deadline.

Countries that have evacuated some 50,000 people over the past 10 days are trying to meet the deadline agreed earlier with the Taliban for the withdrawal of foreign forces.

The UK government official said that it has evacuated over 7,000 people from Afghanistan, adding that the evacuation process will run as long as the security situation allows and that no firm date was set for the end of evacuation flights.

“7,109 individuals have been evacuated from Afghanistan under Operation PITTING, which commenced on Friday 13 August. More than 1,000 UK Armed Forces personnel deployed in Kabul”, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

On the other hand, Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries – Britain, Canada, France Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – will meet virtually later on Tuesday (today) to discuss the crisis.

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