By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. ambassador representing Afghanistan’s ousted government has asked to remain in the country’s seat at the world body in New York, a U.N. spokesperson said on Friday, setting up a showdown if the Taliban tries to appoint their own envoy.
Farhan Haq, Guterres spokesperson said Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai had signed a letter with Antonio Guterres asking for a list of Afghanistan’s representatives to attend the General Assembly.
The Taliban, which seized power after 20-year war ended, did not yet know if they would send their own representative to the United Nations.
Haq reported that Isaczai submitted his accreditation request to the United Nations on Wednesday. This was just one day after the opening of the General Assembly.
Dozens upon dozens of leaders from around the world will be visiting New York for next week’s annual U.N. meeting. Isaczai, who is scheduled to speak on the last day of the meeting, is currently in line to do so.
A nine member committee is appointed each year to handle U.N. credentials. On Tuesday, the committee was named. It is composed of nine members from the United States, Chile, Bhutan, Chile China, Namibia and Sierra Leone.
The U.N. member countries meet in November or October to review the credentials and submit a report to the General Assembly for approval. Diplomats stated that the General Assembly and the committee usually work together on credentials.
According to General Assembly rules, Isaczai can remain in the seat until a decision has been made.
The U.N.’s representative in Afghanistan was the Ambassador of the Taliban government that they overthrew between 1996-2001. This decision was made by Credentials committee, which deferred its determination on competing claims.
According to the report, the decision was delayed “under the condition that current Afghan representatives to the United Nations would continue their participation in the work the General Assembly.”
Guterres stated last month that Afghanistan’s Taliban desire to be recognized internationally is their only tool for promoting inclusive governance and the respect of women’s rights.
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