Taliban fighters escort women march in support of the Taliban government outside Kabul University, Afghanistan. 

US officials meet with Taliban in person for first time since drone strike killed Al Qaeda chief in Kabul

Top U.S. officials held their first in person meeting with the Taliban since a U.S. military strike killed the leader of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in July. 

The Biden administration sent CIA deputy director David Cohen to the Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday to meet with a Taliban delegation led by Abdul Haq Wasiq, the Taliban’s head of intelligence, Fox News has confirmed.

The meeting marks the first time the two sides have met in person since a U.S. drone strike this summer killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in the Taliban controlled Afghanistan capital of Kabul raising questions about the terror group’s presence in the country.

The Taliban claimed it was unaware that the Al-Qaeda chief was in the country and called the drone strike a “clear violation” of the Doha agreement struck with former President Donald Trump in 2020.

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Taliban fighters escort women march in support of the Taliban government outside Kabul University, Afghanistan. 
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

However, under the 2020 Doha Agreement signed by the U.S. and the insurgent group, the Taliban pledged not to allow safe haven for members of al-Qaeda or anyone seeking to attack the U.S.

Al-Zawahri was found to have been residing in a Kabul safe house that had ties to the deputy leader of the Taliban.

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The fact that Ayman Al Zawahri was living openly in Kabul is a sign that al Qaeda is on the rise, Sales says.

The fact that Ayman Al Zawahri was living openly in Kabul is a sign that al Qaeda is on the rise, Sales says.
(Maher Attar/Sygma via Getty Images)

According to U.S. officials, the al-Qaeda leader had stayed at the home of an aide to Sirajuddin Haqqani, top deputy of the Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatallah Akhundzada, for months.

Al-Zawahri was killed by a U.S. drone strike after he stepped outside onto a balcony.

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President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, to travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, to travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report

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