The UN is on course to decide who will represent the country at the world body as the Taliban's new foreign minister and the ambassador of the ousted government formally requested to speak at this week's high-level meeting.
The United Nations has said the Taliban, Afghanistan's new rulers since last month, have challenged the credentials of Afghanistan’s former UN ambassador and are asking to speak at the UN General Assembly’s high-level meeting of world leaders that began on Tuesday.
The question now facing UN officials comes about a month after the Taliban swept to power as the US prepared to withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of August.
The Taliban stunned the world by taking territory with surprising speed and little resistance from the US-trained Afghan military. The Western-backed government collapsed.
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UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a communication on September 15 from the currently accredited Afghan Ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, with the list of Afghanistan’s delegation for the assembly’s 76th annual session.
Five days later, Guterres received another communication with 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 gathering of world leaders.
Muttaqi said in the letter that former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” as of August 15 and that countries across the world “no longer recognise him as president,” and therefore Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan, Dujarric said.
Based on the decree of the Esteemed Amir-ul-momineen, the following appointments have been made: pic.twitter.com/R5gyUZoQXw— Suhail Shaheen. محمد سهیل شاهین (@suhailshaheen1) September 21, 2021
The Taliban said it was nominating a new UN permanent representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, the UN spokesman said.
In cases of disputes over seats at the United Nations, the General Assembly’s nine-member Credentials Committee must meet to make a decision. Both letters have been sent to the committee, Dujarric said.
“No meeting of the credentials committee has been scheduled so far,” UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Afghanistan is scheduled to give the last speech on the final day of the high-level meeting on September 27.
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