UN says Taliban asked to address General Assembly meeting, appointed UN envoy

The United Nations says the Taliban, Afghanistan’s new rulers since last month, have challenged the credentials of Afghanistan’s former ambassador to the UN and are asking to speak at the UN General Assembly’s high-level meeting of world leaders that started on Tuesday.

The question now facing UN officials comes about a month after the Taliban came to power as the United States prepared to withdraw from Afghanistan in late August. The Taliban surprised the world by taking territory with surprising speed and little resistance from the US-trained Afghan army. The Western-backed government collapsed.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that on September 15, Secretary General Antonio Guterres received a communication from the currently accredited Afghan ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, with the list of the Afghan delegation for the 76th annual session of the assembly.

Five days later, Guterres received another communication on the letterhead “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, signed by “Ameer Khan Muttaqi” as “Minister of Foreign Affairs”, requesting to participate in the UN world leaders meeting.

Muttaqi said in the letter that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was “overthrown” on August 15 and that countries around the world “no longer recognize him as president” and therefore Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan, Dujarric said. .

The Taliban said they were nominating a new permanent UN representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, the UN spokesman said.

In cases of disputes over United Nations seats, the nine-member Credentials Committee of the General Assembly must meet to make a decision. Both letters have been sent to the committee, Dujarric said.

“So far no meeting of the credentials committee has been scheduled,” said UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

Afghanistan is scheduled to deliver the final speech on the last day of the high-level meeting on September 27.


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