The Taliban have warned Biden to abide by the evacuation deadline of 31st August. They added that America should refrain from evacuating the skilled Afghans from the country.
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.
Since the Kabul takeover Afghans have rushed to the airport, desperate to get out of the country. The Taliban spokesperson said that America was evacuating skilled Afghans such as engineers. America has the planes and airport, they should focus on evacuating their citizens and contractors from Afghanistan.
This migration of professionals will create a skill vacuum in the country. Which will be detrimental for the rebuilding process. Taliban have been striking deals with China and Russia, welcoming industrialization. It is crucial for the country to maintain economic stabiliy.
Earlier in the day, the Washington Post reported that CIA chief William Burns and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar held a secret meeting in Kabul on Monday. If true, the meeting, will have been the highest-level encounter between the Taliban and the Biden administration since the group’s return to power.
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.