Taliban seek UNGA participation, nominating their spokesman as Afghan envoy

The Taliban have written to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres nominating their spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s new ambassador to the UN and have asked to participate and speak in the high-level 76th session of the General Assembly currently underway. They have nominated their spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s new ambassador to the UN.

The nomination has led to a confrontation between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s fallen government envoy, Gram Isakuzai, who has held his post so far. On September 20, on the eve of the commencement of the high-level UN General Debate, the Secretary-General received a communication with the letterhead ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ dated September 20, 2021, signed by ‘Ameer Khan Muttaqi’ as ‘Minister of Foreign Affairs’. In the letter, the Taliban requested to participate in the ’76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 21-27.” Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, told PTI that the letter also indicates that as of August 15, 2021, ‘Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is ousted and (countries across the world) no longer recognise him as president’. The Taliban swept across the country last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital city of Kabul fell to the insurgents. The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul.