United Nations Headquarters in New York. File photo
Gulf Today Report
The Taliban's new foreign minister has asked to address world leaders at this week's United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the UN spokesman said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter from Taliban-appointed Amir Khan Muttaqi "requesting to participate" in the high-level debate, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
It was dated Monday September 20 — the day before the session got underway —and listed Muttaqi as "Minister of Foreign Affairs," he added.
The Taliban, the country's new rulers for a matter of weeks, are challenging the credentials of their country's former UN ambassador and want to speak at the General Assembly’s high-level meeting of world leaders this week, the international body says.
Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban during peace negotiations in Qatar, said the Taliban said it was nominating a new UN permanent representative.
Mohammad Suhail Shaheen speaks to the media. File photo
The Taliban stunned the world by taking territory with surprising speed and little resistance from the US-trained Afghan military. The Western-backed government collapsed on Aug. 15.
The ambassador of the Afghan government ousted by the Taliban last month has also requested to speak, with the UN yet to decide who will represent the country at the world body.
According to the UN spokesman, a nine-member credentials committee will now rule on the dueling requests but it is unclear whether the committee will meet before the end of the convocation on Monday.
The flag of the United Nations. File photo
It was dated Monday September 20 — the day before the session got underway — and listed Muttaqi as "Minister of Foreign Affairs," he added.
The letter did not specify whether Muttaqi wanted to travel to New York to speak or whether the Taliban would submit a recorded video message, as many leaders are doing this year due to Covid-19.
The letter also indicated that Ghulam Isaczai "no longer represents" Afghanistan at the United Nations.
He was the ambassador to the UN of the Afghan government ousted from power in August as US military troops exited the country, ending their 20-year war.
China and Russia have described last month's Taliban victory as a defeat for the United States and moved to work with the insurgents, but no country has moved to recognise a government that includes international pariahs.
Afghanistan was not the only country sending a message: North Korea had one for the United States, saying it was up to Washington whether now-stalled nuclear negotiations "become a window of opportunity or an occasion that will hasten the crisis."
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric made the announcement on Friday that the UN appeal for $1.3 billion for 2021 to help more than 18 million people is just 40% funded, leaving a $766 million deficit.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill held a fiery media conference in which he lashed out at Shirazi for criticising the government’s economic policies in her article.
Sheikh Mohammed exchanged cordial conversations with Simonyte about the bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to advance economic relations towards a new stage that achieves the interests of the two countries and their development aspirations in various fields of common interest, foremost of which are the sectors of advanced technology, innovation, and renewable energy.
This was announced by the Seismology Department of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM), which monitors earthquake activities in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied during the visit by his sons, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, and Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.