No extensions for US evacuations in Afghanistan, warn TalibanArchive
A Taliban spokesman says the US must complete its evacuation of people from Afghanistan by the August 31 date the Biden administration set for the withdrawal of all American troops.
Addressing a press conference, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said his group would accept no extensions to the deadline. He said life was returning to normal in the country but chaos at the airport remained a problem.
Many Afghans are desperate to flee the Taliban takeover of the country.
Mujahid said he was not aware of any meeting between the Taliban and the CIA, but he did not deny that such a meeting took place.
Earlier in the day, the Washington Post reported that CIA chief William Burns held a secret meeting in Kabul with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Monday.
The meeting, which if confirmed will have been the highest-level encounter between the Taliban and the Biden administration since the group's return to power, came as efforts to evacuate thousands of people from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan became increasingly urgent.
Burns is one of US President Joe Biden's most experienced diplomats, while Baradar, who headed the Taliban's political office in Qatar, is one of the top leaders in the regime that has taken power in Kabul.
A spokesperson for the CIA would not confirm the meeting to AFP, saying that the agency “never discusses the director's travels”.
The Washington Post, which cited anonymous US sources for the meeting, did not describe the content of the discussions between the Taliban co-founder and the CIA boss.