Taliban names UN ambassador, Foreign Minister requests to address UNGA
- The request was made by Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a letter to UN
- The Afghan Foreign Minister’s address at this UNGA is highly unlikely
- The UN chief has said that the Taliban's desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have
The Taliban have named their spokesperson Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday. The militant group has also asked permission to address the world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, according to media reports.
The request was made by Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Reuters reported. It was confirmed by Guterres' spokesperson Farhan Haq. What this move means for Ghulam Isaczai, the UN ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan's ousted government remains to be seen. He is currently scheduled to address the world body on September 27.
According to the Reuters report, the rival requests regarding who will represent Afghanistan in the UN have been sent to a nine-member credentials committee which is unlikely to meet before Monday. So the Foreign Minister’s address at this UNGA is highly unlikely.
If the UN does eventually accept the Taliban request, it will give a major boost to the militant group’s credentials as legitimate rulers of Afghanistan. The UN chief has said that the Taliban's desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have over it to press for rights in Afghanistan.
Following a week-long offensive across Afghanistan, the Taliban overran the Afghan government and took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021. The Taliban have since sought to allay the international community's concerns regarding their rule and form of governance, promising rights to women within the confines of Islamic law and an "inclusive" government that represents Afghanistan's complex ethnic makeup.
But, the interim 33-member Cabinet does not include even a single Hazara, even though Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi is an Uzbek, and the Tajiks are represented by Chief of the Army Staff Qari Fasihuddin Makhdoom and Qari Din Mohammad Hanif.