CIA Chief to Meet Israeli, Qatari Officials for Hostage Deal Talks

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo
CIA Director Bill Burns testifies next to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during a House (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing on diversity in the intelligence community, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2021.

CIA chief Bill Burns will meet Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency in Warsaw on Monday to discuss a potential new deal to secure the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

Both officials spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

Earlier, the Axios news website had reported the meeting would take place, citing two U.S. and Israeli officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to confirm on Saturday that new negotiations were under way to recover hostages held by Hamas after a source said Israel’s intelligence chief met the prime minister of Qatar, a country mediating in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A source with knowledge of the matter said that Mossad head David Barnea met Al Thani in Europe late on Friday.

Poland’s minister-coordinator of special services said he met with Burns on Monday, but did not refer to his other activities in Warsaw.

“On Monday, December 18, 2023, my guest was William Burns, Director of the CIA. We discussed current Polish-American allied cooperation in the area of ​​security, particularly in the context of the war in Ukraine,” Tomasz Siemoniak wrote on platform X.

“We also talked about the challenges for NATO before the upcoming summit in Washington in 2024. We emphasized our common will to maintain the closest possible cooperation between our countries’ secret services.”