After denying Afghan women a voice in the affairs of their country, the Taliban have called on world leaders to give them a voice, to address the UN General Assembly this week.
The Taliban announced the appointment of their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as the new Afghan ambassador to the United Nations, according to a letter sent to the Reuters.
Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request on Monday in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and asked to speak at the General Assembly, which ends on Monday. Guterres’s spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed the letter.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UN at the moment is Ghulam Isaczai, who represented the previous government.
Haq said the issue of Afghanistan’s UN post and who will occupy it would be discussed by a nine-member commission, which includes the United States, China and Russia. The commission is unlikely to meet before Monday, so it is doubtful that the Taliban foreign minister will be able to speak to the leaders.
Guterres’s spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed the letter. Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UN so far is Ghulam Isaczai, who represented the previous government.
A possible acceptance of the Taliban ambassador would be an important step in the international recognition of the hardline Islamist government and would help unblock the resources needed by Afghanistan’s shattered economy.
Guterres has said that the Taliban’s desire for international recognition is the only means available to other countries to push for an inclusive government in Afghanistan and to respect the rights of citizens, especially women.