Afghanistan will not speak at UN after credentials dispute

Afghanistan’s UN representative Ghulam Isaczai, appointed by the country’s former democratic government, which collapsed under the Taliban advance last month, was expected to address world leaders on Monday.

His staff informed the world body over the weekend that he would no longer speak, according to a spokesman for the UN secretary general, Stéphane Dujarric.

“This does not change the fact that the representative of Afghanistan remains the same,” Dujarric said.

A battle over credentials began last week, when the Taliban sent a request to the UN to replace Isaczai with their own representative.

According to the Taliban letter, Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan. Instead, he appointed Mohammad Suhail Shaheen as the militant Islamist group’s candidate for permanent representation in New York.

The letter also noted that former President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani has been “overthrown and [countries across the world] I no longer recognize him as president, ”according to the spokesperson statement.

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Isaczai has continued to advocate for his country, meeting with foreign envoys and even calling on the UN Security Council to pressure the Taliban to form a more democratic government.

Last week, he also sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General with a list of delegates for this week’s General Assembly and appointed himself as the head of the delegation.

Both offers of recognition have been submitted to the UN Credentials Committee for consideration.

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