The Taliban have challenged the credentials of Afghanistan’s former ambassador to the United Nations and are asking to speak at the United Nations general assembly, a UN spokesperson said.
UN officials must now decide which representative to recognize, a month after the Taliban came to power as the United States prepared to withdraw from Afghanistan in late August.
UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a communication on September 15 from 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 letterhead communication from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed by Amir Khan Muttaqi as Minister of Foreign Affairs, requesting to participate in the rally of UN world leaders.
Muttaqi said in the letter that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” on August 15 and countries around the world no longer recognize him as president, and therefore Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan, Dujarric said.
The Taliban have said they are appointing a new permanent UN representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, Dujarric said.
In the event of a dispute over seats at the UN, the nine-member Credentials Committee of the General Assembly must meet to make a decision. Both letters were sent to the committee, Dujarric said.
Afghanistan is due to deliver the final speech on the last day of the high-level meeting on September 27, but it is not clear whether the committee will meet before the convocation ends on Monday.
The committee is made up of Russia, China, the United States, Sweden, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Chile, Bhutan and the Bahamas.
Senior U.S. State Department officials said they were aware of the Taliban’s request, but would not predict how the committee might rule. However, one of the officials said the committee would “take some time to deliberate,” suggesting that the Taliban envoy would not be able to address the general assembly during this session, at least for the duration. high-level leadership week.
The committee has in the past refrained from making a decision and instead sent it back to the general assembly for a vote, a diplomatic source told AFP.
No government has yet recognized the Taliban government, demanding first that it live up to its human rights commitments, but the ruling Emir of Qatar, whose nation has played a central role in Afghanistan, urged them. world leaders not to turn their backs on the Taliban.
Speaking at the general assembly on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani stressed “the need to continue dialogue with the Taliban because the boycott only leads to polarization and reactions, whereas dialogue could bring positive results ”.
In the spirit of diplomacy, Tamim said that Qatar agreed years ago to welcome the political leaders of the Taliban in exile because “we were convinced that war offers no solution and that there would be a dialogue at the end ”.
Countries like the United States and Japan moved their diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan to Qatar to continue diplomacy from there.
Uzbekistan, another neighboring country of Afghanistan, has taken over the supply of oil and electricity to the war-torn country, according to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
“It is impossible to isolate Afghanistan and leave it in the field of its problems,” he said Tuesday in remarks to the UN, also calling for a UN standing committee on the Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, Pakistan’s foreign minister told reporters at UN headquarters that Taliban leaders should understand that if they are to be recognized and helped to rebuild the war-torn country, “they must be more. sensitive and more receptive to international opinion and standards ”.
The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.