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Taliban spokesman can’t confirm CIA chief met with group’s leader Baradar

Taliban spokesman can’t confirm CIA chief met with group’s leader Baradar
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid told a press conference on Tuesday that he could not confirm reports of a meeting with the CIA director, but said they are communicating with all embassies located in Kabul.

Asked about the Washington Post report of a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and de facto Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar on Monday amid the US scramble to get American citizens out of Afghanistan, Mujahid said they “cannot confirm” whether such a meeting took place.

He did say, however, that the Taliban is “in communication with all embassies present in Kabul” in an effort to “maintain diplomatic relations” as they attempt to implement a new government.

There were no details on the alleged meeting with the CIA head, but the US has been rushing to meet an August 31 deadline for the evacuation of American citizens from Afghanistan, something some experts doubt can be done.

Representative Adam Schiff (D-California) called such a target “unlikely” after a classified briefing this week. The Taliban said on Tuesday they “will not extend the deadline” as it is already beyond the original deadline for leaving the country set by former president Donald Trump, who planned on the US leaving by May.

Also on rt.com CIA chief held secret in-person talks with Taliban leader in Kabul, media says, as evacuation deadline looms

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan previously said control of the airport in Kabul and the evacuation of US citizens has been a topic of discussion with the Taliban, though President Joe Biden has not considered negotiating with the Taliban himself.

“With respect to whether President Biden is likely to speak to the leadership of the Taliban, that is not in contemplation at this time,” he said.

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