Stamford Advocate

Afghanista­n’s Taliban unlikely to speak at U.N.


UNITED NATIONS — It’s almost certain that Afghanista­n’s Taliban rulers won’t get to speak at this year’s U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders.

The Taliban challenged the credential­s of the ambassador from Afghanista­n’s former government, which they ousted on Aug. 15, and asked to represent the country at the assembly’s high-level General

Debate. It began Tuesday and ends Monday, with Afghanista­n’s representa­tive as the final speaker.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that as of Friday, Afghanista­n’s currently recognized U.N. ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, who represents former president Ashraf Ghani’s now ousted government, is listed as speaking for the country.

The key reason is that the General Assembly committee which decides on credential­s challenges has not met, and is highly unlikely to meet over the weekend.

Assembly spokeswoma­n Monica Grayley said Wednesday the nine-member committee generally meets in November and will issue a ruling “in due course.”

In a letter to U.N. SecretaryG­eneral Antonio Guterres, the Taliban’s newly appointed foreign minister, Ameer Khan

Muttaqi, said Ghani was “ousted” as of Aug. 15 and that countries across the world “no longer recognize him as president.”

Therefore, Muttaqi said, Isaczai no longer represents Afghanista­n and the Taliban was nominating a new U.N. permanent representa­tive, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen. He was a spokesman for the Taliban during peace negotiatio­ns in Qatar.

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