CIA Director William J. Burns secretly met with the leader of the Taliban in Kabul on Monday, The Washington Post reported.
Burns met with Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Talibanâ€™s de-facto leader, in the highest-level in-person meeting between the Biden administration and the Taliban since the group seized Kabul, several U.S. officials toldÂ The Washington Post. The meeting took place amid the Biden administrationâ€™s continued efforts toÂ withdrawÂ American citizens and Afghan allies as the Taliban consolidates its rule.
The U.S. currently plans to withdraw all personnel by Aug. 31, but President Joe BidenÂ indicatedÂ he could extend that time frame if there are still people left in Afghanistan.
Taliban spokesman Dr. Suhail ShaheenÂ warnedÂ Biden in an interview withÂ Sky NewsÂ that â€œthere would be consequencesâ€ if U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan past Aug. 31, calling the date a â€œred line.â€
Britain, France, Spain, and other countries with a military presence in AfghanistanÂ saidÂ they need more time to evacuate all their personnel. U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told theÂ BBCÂ â€œnot everyoneâ€ would be evacuated by the Aug. 31 deadline.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in aÂ briefingÂ Monday the U.S. was in contact with the Taliban â€œthrough political channels, through diplomatic channels, [and] military channels as well.â€
â€œWhat weâ€™re doing now is doing all we can to encourage a peaceful and orderly transition to an inclusive government with broad support,â€ Price said.
The CIA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundationâ€™s request for comment.
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