As world leaders gathered in New York for the U.N. General Assembly on Monday, Reuters reports that the Taliban contacted the organisation prior to the start of the conference which ends on Monday 27th September. In a letter sent to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi asked to speak during the annual summit, reports show.
The Afghan rebels have also appointed their own ambassador whom they demand takes over from Ghulam Isaczai, the current U.N. ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan’s government ousted last month by the Taliban.
The new ambassador is none other than the current Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen based in Doha, Qatar.
Mr Shaheen has been seen all over the world doing interviews including on Good Morning Britain earlier this month.
At the time, UK viewers lashed out at Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard’s “unsettling” and “outrageous” interview with him.
Many even asked why he had been given air time.
Farhan Haq, a U.N. spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, confirmed the reception of the letter and announced that a nine-member credentials committee will make a decision on whether or not Mr Isaczai should be replaced by a new ambassador.
The Taliban letter said Isaczai’s mission “is considered over” and that “he no longer represents Afghanistan”.
The credentials committee include the US, China, Russia, the Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Sweden.
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The regime craves international recognition, which is the only leverage other countries have to press for inclusive government and respect for rights, particularly for women, according to Guterres.
The Taliban are mostly looking for international cooperation to help unlock badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy.