Not The Onion: UN Mulling Taliban Request To Address General Assembly

Not The Onion: UN Mulling Taliban Request To Address General Assembly

A UN spokesman revealed late Tuesday that the Taliban has formally requested to address world leaders gathered this week in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. 

It comes after the international body received an official letter on Monday addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the group is “requesting to participate” in the high-level debate, according to AFP.

“The credentials committee will now rule on the request,” the UN statement added, suggesting the body is actually taking the request seriously.

UN headquarters in NYC, via Shutterstock

As a now established government having control over all of Afghanistan following the late August US troop pullout and evacuation, the Taliban says it even has a permanent representative to the UN at this point, named as Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen, which means it’s challenging the legitimacy of the current representative, Ghulam Isaczai.

AFP has more details of the letter’s contents as follows

It was signed by Amir Khan Muttaqi as “Minister of Foreign Affairs,” the spokesman said. The letter also indicated that Ghulam Isaczai “no longer represents” Afghanistan at the United Nations.

…The note, which had the letterhead “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said that former president Ashraf Ghani was “ousted” on August 15, the day he fled the country.

The UN spokesman confirmed the letter had been submitted for consideration to the “credentials committee” to consider further action.

That committee includes the US, Russia, China, South Africa, Sweden, Sierra Leone, Chile, Bhutan and the Bahamas. Likely China and Russia would push for allowing the Taliban’s participation at the UNGA, while Washington would no doubt see it as an embarrassment and deeply awkward. 

#Taliban have challenged the credentials of Afghanistan’s former U.N. ambassador and are asking to speak at the #UNGA76#UN says….

— Sumaira Khan (@sumrkhan1) September 21, 2021

Continued US sanctions on the Taliban would prevent or at least complicate any Taliban official’s in-person trip to New York, so such a potential address to the assembly would take place via video link. This scenario is similar to the Iranian situation – with sanctions on him personally President Ebrahim Raisi was prevented from traveling and spoke via a pre-recorded video.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 09/22/2021 – 21:00

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