Will Taliban Leader Be Allowed To Speak At UN General Assembly?

The Taliban have made it known that one of their leaders would like to address the United Nations General Assembly. They even nominated Doha-based spokesperson Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador. But will their wish of being heard in front of world leaders be fulfilled?

According to Associated Press, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that as of Friday, Afghanistan’s currently-recognised UN ambassador Ghulam Isaczai will be the speaker at UNGA. The Taliban took over the war-torn country in August, with then-president Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country. But at the UN, Afghanistan is likely to be represented by Isaczai.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing the world forum on Saturday evening, while Afghanistan’s turn is likely to come on Sunday.

The situation in Afghanistan is a cause for concern for most nations and will figure prominently at the UNGA. None of the world leaders have recognized the Taliban and have urged them to ensure that the country doesn’t become a haven for terrorism.

Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi had written to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres on Monday, asking that they be given a slot to speak during the annual high-level UN meeting.

The Taliban further challenged the credentials of Isaczai, saying that only they have the right to appoint ambassadors now. Since Ghani had been “ousted” as of August 15, Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan, Taliban claimed.

The UNGA committee, which decides on such disputes, has not met since the Taliban request, reported AP. So chances of Taliban representative delivering a speech at the UNGA appear very slim.

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