The presence in Afghanistan of William Burns, a seasoned diplomat, at the head of the Agency since last March, shows the urgency felt in Washington.
Washington Post reported at noon on Tuesday . Since the fundamentalist movement gained control of almost the entire country on August 15, it is the highest meeting organized between the United States and the Taliban. The Reuters agency had confirmation of this tête-à-tête by two corroborating sources, who wished to remain anonymous.
The decision of American President Joe Biden to send William Burns, often presented as the most seasoned of his diplomats – he was notably the United States’ ambassador to Jordan and Russia – to Kabul, illustrates the gravity of the crisis for his administration, so that his partners urge him to postpone the withdrawal date of August 31, to try to evacuate as many people as possible from Kabul by then, and that a terrible race against time is underway .
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar , who headed the Taliban political bureau in Qatar, is the new strongman of the regime that has seized power in Kabul. The governance of the movement being fuzzy, number 2 has embodied for ten days the Taliban power and his willingness to speak to the rest of the international community.
The Washington Post did not reveal the content of the discussions between the Taliban leader and the CIA boss, but the author of the article noted on Twitter the irony of the meeting: it was the CIA that had jointly orchestrated with Pakistan, the arrest of Mullah Baradar in 2010. Eight years later, he was released at the request of the Americans.
It's quite the tete-a-tete. Biden’s spymaster is also his most seasoned diplomat. For Baradar, playing counterpart to a CIA director comes with a tinge of irony 11 years after the spy agency arrested him in a joint CIA-Pakistani operation that put him in prison for 8 years 2/— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) August 24, 2021
According to the Afghan news agency Pahjwok, the Taliban have appointed the new head of the intelligence services. William Burns does not seem to have met him before.