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CIA Chief Secretly Met Taliban Leader as Biden Faces Pressure Over Afghan Evacuation Deadline

Facing growing pressure over his looming deadline to leave Afghanistan, President Joe Biden dispatched his spy chief to meet with the Taliban’s de facto leader, a senior diplomat in the region and another source familiar with the matter told NBC News.

CIA Director William Burns held a secret meeting with Taliban co-founder and political leader Abdul Ghani Baradar on Monday, the sources said. The meeting was first reported by the Washington Post.

The CIA declined to comment on the meeting, citing the agency’s policy of never discussing the travels and meetings of its director.

The meeting comes as Biden is set to decide whether to extend his deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from the country, under growing pressure ahead of a crisis summit with leaders of key allies.

Biden is expected to make the decision on whether to push back the Aug. 31 deadline on Tuesday, according to two U.S. officials, with just a week to go and thousands desperately awaiting evacuation in the wake of the militant group’s rapid takeover of the country.

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New England Cable News

New England Cable News is a regional 24-hour cable news television network owned and operated by NBCUniversal serving the New England region of the United States. It focuses on regional news, though in some low priority timeslots, paid programming and programming from WNBC such as Talk Stoop and Open House are seen.

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