KABUL (Pajhwok): The Taliban representative is unlikely to speak this year at the UN General Assembly as a nine-member credentialing committee is not expected to meet before the close of the ongoing session of the UN body, according to media report on Saturday.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter on Monday from the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” – which the Taliban declared last month – signed by Amir Khan Muttaqi, who goes by the title “Minister of Foreign Affairs”.
The letter included a formal request by the Taliban to participate in this year’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) and to inform the world body that it had nominated Suhail Shaheen, its Doha-based spokesman, as its new ambassador to the UN.
But the Taliban was not the only one vying to represent Afghanistan at the annual gathering of member states.
A few days earlier, Guterres had received a communication from Afghanistan’s current accredited Afghan ambassador to the UN, Ghulam Isaczai, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan, Muttaqi argued in his letter, because former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” as of August 15.
The question of who speaks for Afghanistan has now landed in the lap of the UN General Assembly’s nine-member credentialing committee that includes the United States, Russia and China.
The committee is tasked with assessing the claim, making a recommendation and sending it back to the General Assembly, which will debate and then accept or reject it.