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Friday, October 22 2021

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Taliban unlikely to speak at UN session

New Delhi: Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers are unlikely to speak at or represent their country in the current session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Dawn news reported.

Representatives of the former Afghan government still occupy the Afghan mission at the UN. On Tuesday, they attended the session that US President Joe Biden addressed.

“They will continue to occupy the mission until the credentials committee takes a decision,” a diplomatic source said, the Dawn news report said.

On September 15, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter from the currently accredited Afghan ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, stating that he and other members of his team will represent Afghanistan in the UNGA session.

On September 20, the Taliban-controlled Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent a communication to Guterres, requesting to participate in the current UNGA.

A Taliban leader, Ameer Khan Muttaqi, signed the letter as the new Afghan Foreign Minister.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed receiving both letters while talking to journalists in New York.

Muttaqi said in the letter that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” on August 15 and therefore his envoy no longer represents Afghanistan, Dujarric said.

The Taliban, however, are unlikely to get the slot by September 27, when Afghanistan is scheduled to address the General Assembly, the report said.

It added that the General Assembly’s nine-member credentials committee, which makes such decisions, is unlikely to meet before September 27. And even if it did, it cannot settle the dispute in the remaining two or three days.

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