The Biden administration has been in regular contact with Taliban officials throughout the course of the evacuation process, both on the ground in Afghanistan and in Doha, Qatar.
The meeting also underscores the view inside the administration that they need a clearer understanding of where the Taliban stands on several issues as the clock ticks towards the August 31 deadline to withdraw troops from the country, the official said.
The US official told CNN that the meeting occurred at President Joe Biden’s direction, which reflects the view inside the administration that Burns is the most seasoned and one of the most trusted veteran diplomats on Biden’s team.
Another official called the meeting “an exchange of views on what needs to happen to be done” by August 31.
The CIA declined to comment to CNN about the meeting.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.
The US has evacuated thousands of people from the Kabul airport who are fleeing the country as the Taliban resumes control.
While Biden remains confident that the US will complete its mission by August 31, he revealed Sunday that discussions are ongoing about potentially extending the deadline, but the Taliban signaled Monday that they view that date as firm.
The “US must adhere to removing troops from Afghanistan by this date. Otherwise, it will be a clear violation,” a Taliban spokesperson had told CNN of the August 31 deadline, adding that in the case of a delay, “our leadership will take proper and necessary decision[s].”
The Biden administration has been reliant on the Taliban to cooperate with the evacuation efforts, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that the US is in talks with the Taliban “on a daily basis” through political and security channels.
After the Taliban retook control of Kabul, Baradar, who heads the group’s political committee, had returned to Afghanistan last week after having been out of the country for 20 years.
Burns came to lead the spy agency with decades of experience as an American diplomat for the State Department, including being at the center of center of Middle East peace negotiations.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Sandi Sidhu, Betsy Klein and Michael Callahan contributed to this report.Source link