The Taliban have reportedly nominated Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s U.N. ambassador and have asked to speak at the United Nations.
A letter from Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi sent to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres first confirmed the news, and Reuters first reported it.
The move comes just a little over a month after the radical Islamic group recaptured Afghanistan amid a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from the country, capping off a nearly 20-year war.
Any decision on the matter would be up to a nine-member credentials committee whose members include China, Russia, and the United States.
Signing off on a Taliban ambassador would signify a major achievement for the terrorist group as they seek world recognition.
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It also pits the group against Afghanistan’s ousted government, now being represented by Ghulam Isaczai. In its letter to Guterres, the Taliban said Isaczai’s mission “is considered over and that he no longer represents Afghanistan.”
Guterres has said the Taliban’s desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have in pressuring the group to adopt more humanitarian policies like allowing women to get educated.
Per the General Assembly rules, Isaczai will remain in the seat. He is scheduled to address the General Assembly on the final day of the meeting this Monday.
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President Biden delivered a message at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, speaking forcefully on the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and human rights abuses, but he avoided addressing criticism from allies about the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.