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Taliban wants to address General Assembly, reveals UN

Taliban wants to address General Assembly, reveals UN

The UN said that the Taliban has reached out to the international body saying they want to speak at the General Assembly's high-level meeting of world leaders this week. Currently, the role belongs to Afghanistan's former UN ambassador.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has received a message from the currently accredited Afghan Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai, who conveyed the list of Afghanistan's delegation for the assembly's 76th annual session. The Taliban is challenging their credentials, reported AP.

The UN hasn't decided on the matter yet. Afghanistan is scheduled to give a speech on the final day of the meeting, on September 27.

A UN official said that the General Assembly's nine-member credentials committee would take some time to deliberate, suggesting that the Taliban is not likely to participate in this week's General Assembly. United States, Russia, China, Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Sweden are nine nations on the committee.

Guterres received the message from the Taliban on September 20 on letterhead saying 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs'. It was signed by Ameer Khan Muttaqi.

The message from the Taliban said that the former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani was "ousted" and countries across the world "no longer recognise him as president". It added that "Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan". The Taliban declared that it was nominating a new UN permanent representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, who also served as a spokesperson for the Taliban during peace negotiations in Qatar.

The Taliban has already stated that they want international recognition and financial help to rebuild the war-battered country.

When the Taliban was in power from 1996 to 2001, the UN had not recognised their government. Afghanistan's seat was given to the previous government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Several ministers on the Taliban's new government are on the UN's blacklist of international terrorists and funders of terrorism.

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