Taliban Names U.N. Ambassador, Asks to Speak at Global Assembly

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Posted: Sep 21, 2021 10:45 PM
Taliban Names U.N. Ambassador, Asks to Speak at Global Assembly

Source: AP Photo/Zabi Karimi

The Taliban have nominated their spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, as Afghanistan’s ambassador to the U.N. and have asked to address the global community at the United Nations.

The militia group's Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Monday asking if Muttaqi could address world leaders at the General Assembly, which ends Monday.

The letter, first reported by Reuters, has been confirmed by Guterres' spokesperson, Farhan Haq.

Haq said the requests for Afghanistan's U.N. seat was sent to a nine-member credentials committee that consists of the United States, China, Russia, the Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Sweden. The committee is not expected to meet on the matter ahead of Monday.

Guterres has said that the Taliban's bid for international recognition is the only leverage other nations have in demanding human rights, particularly for women, and an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

For now, Ghulam Isaczai of Afghanistan's ousted government is representing the country and will address the General Assembly on Monday.

The letter from the Taliban said Isaczai's mission "is considered over and that he no longer represents Afghanistan."

The committee typically meets in October or November to determine the credentials of all U.N. members before submitting a report for the General Assembly approve by year's end. According to diplomats, both the committee and General Assembly traditionally come to a consensus on a nation's credentials.

President Joe Biden spoke at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday about the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and human rights abuses. He notably from discussing criticism from allies about the U.S. military's chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan that allowed for the resurgence of the Taliban's control of the region.

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