Taliban wants to address UN General Assembly

A wide view of the General Assembly Hall as Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session.

The Taliban has requested to participate in the UN General Assembly held in New York this week, while challenging the credentials of Afghanistan’s former United Nations ambassador.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said secretary-general Antonio Guterres received communication on 15 September from the 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 Amir 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 15 August and that countries across the world no longer recognise him as president, and therefore Isaczai no longer represented Afghanistan, reports The Guardian.

The Taliban has nominating their spokesperson, Mohammed Suhail Shaheen, the new UN permanent representative to UN.

In cases of disputes over seats at the UN, the general assembly’s nine-member credentials committee must meet to make a decision. Both letters have been sent to the committee, Dujarric said.

Afghanistan is scheduled to give the last speech on the final day of the high-level meeting on 27 September, but it is unclear whether the committee will meet before the end of the convocation on Monday.

The committee is made up of Russia, China, the US, 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.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session.

No government has yet recognised the Taliban government. But Russia and China are in direct talks with Taliban in Kabul.

Speaking at the general assembly, Qatar emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani stressed “the necessity of continuing dialogue with Taliban because boycott only leads to polarisation and reactions, whereas dialogue could bring in positive results.”

In the spirit of diplomacy, Tamim said Qatar agreed years ago to host the Taliban’s political leadership in exile because “we were confident that war offers no solution and that there would be dialogue in the end”.

“We are pleased that Doha is the capital of international multilateral action in our region,” he said, adding that Qatar is looking forward to opening the United Nations House in Doha in the near future.