United Nations: A United Nations spokesperson said on Tuesday that the new Taliban foreign minister has requested a speech to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week.
The ambassador of the Afghan government who was expelled by the Taliban last month also asked to speak. The United Nations has not yet decided who will represent the country in this world institution.
A nine-member credentials committee will now rule on the dueling requests, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told AFP, but it is unclear whether the committee will meet before the end of the convocation on Monday.
Dujarik said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter from Amir Khan Mutaqi appointed by the Taliban, “requesting to participate” in the high-level debate.
He added that it was dated Monday, September 20-the day before the meeting began-and listed Mutaki as the “Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
The letter did not specify whether Mutaki wanted to make a speech in New York or whether the Taliban would submit recorded video messages, as many leaders did this year due to COVID-19.
The letter also stated that Ghulam Isakzai “no longer represents” Afghanistan in the United Nations.
With the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, which ended the 20-year war, he was the Afghan government ambassador to the United Nations who was deposed in August.
The letter said that the Taliban had nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s permanent representative to the UN.
The note, which had the letterhead “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said that former president Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” on August 15, the day he fled the country.
“Countries across the world no longer recognize him as president,” the letter said, according to the UN.
The UN spokesperson also stated that Secretary-General Guterres had received another letter from Isakzai on September 15 containing the list of Afghan delegations attending the meeting.
Dujarric stated that the letter listed Isaczai as the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan.
“These two communications have been sent by the secretariat, after consultation with the office of the president of the General Assembly, to the members of the credentials committee of the 76th session of the General Assembly,” he said.
The committee is made up of Russia, China, the United States, Sweden, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Chile, Bhutan and the Bahamas.
The committee has in the past refrained from making a decision and instead referred it to the General Assembly for a vote, a diplomatic source told AFP.
No government has yet recognized the Taliban government, first demanding that it meet commitments on human rights, but some have made positive noises.
“The pragmatic, political view is that there is a new reality. And if you want to ignore that, that’s your choice,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters Monday, stopping short of calling for legal recognition.