Taliban Asks to Address UN General Assembly in New York

The Taliban has asked to address the United Nations (UN) general assembly this week in New York, according to a UN spokesperson.

In a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sept. 20, the Taliban requested to participate in the gathering of world leaders with their newly appointed ambassador Mohammad Suhail Shaheen.

Signed by the Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, the letter further said that the accredited Afghan UN ambassador Ghulam Isaczai “no longer represents” the Afghanistan after the Islamist militant group took control of the country.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that the nine-member UN credentials committee was considering the Taliban’s request, but it is unclear if the committee will meet before the end of the gathering on Sept. 27.

Under UN rules, Isaczai, who is scheduled to make a speech on Sept. 27, will remain as the Afghan ambassador until the committee makes a decision.

Members of the committee include the United States, China, Russia, Chile, Sweden, Bhutan, South Africa, Sierra Leone, and the Bahamas.

On Sept. 21, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani urged world leaders to stay engaged with the Taliban, saying that “boycotting them will only lead to polarization and reactions, whereas dialogue could be fruitful.”

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