Taliban asks to address world leaders in UN general Assembly

Amir Khan Muttaqi

United Nations: Taliban requested in a letter to United Nations (UN) on Monday to speak to the world leaders in the UN general assembly which is scheduled this week in New York.

A UN committee will rule on the request. The Taliban has nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, according to a letter. Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Guterres’ spokesperson, Farhan Haq, confirmed Muttaqi’s letter. The move sets up a showdown with Ghulam Isaczai, the U.N. ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan’s government ousted last month by the Taliban.

Guterres has said that the Taliban’s desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have to press for inclusive government and respect for rights, particularly for women, in Afghanistan.

Requested being reviewed

According to a UN spokesperson.The request to participate in the high-level debate is being considered by a credentials committee, whose nine members include the US, China and Russia. But the committee is unlikely to meet before the end of the General Assembly session next Monday.

The committee traditionally meets in October or November to assess the credentials of all U.N. members before submitting a report for General Assembly approval before the end of the year. The committee and General Assembly usually operate by consensus on credentials, diplomats said.

Ghulam Isaczai’s mission no longer represents Afghanistan

Until then, under UN rules, Ghulam Isaczai will remain Afghanistan’s ambassador to the global body. He is expected to make a speech on the final day of the meeting on 27 September. However the Taliban said his mission “no longer represents Afghanistan”.

President Ashraf Ghani not recognised

They also said that several countries no longer recognised former President Ashraf Ghani as leader.

Mr Ghani abruptly left Afghanistan as Taliban militants advanced on the capital, Kabul, on 15 August. He has since taken refuge in the United Arab Emirates.

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