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Afghanistan envoy withdraws from UNGA session: UN spokesperson

The move comes amid competing claims for Afghanistan's UN seat. (Source: AFP)

(AFP): Amid intense hypothesis surrounding Afghanistan’s illustration on the UN General Assembly, ambassador for the Afghan government ousted by the Taliban pulled out of delivering an address to world leaders on Monday.

Ghulam Isaczai, who represented president Ashraf Ghani’s regime, had been due to defy the Taliban with a speech but his name was removed from the list of speakers.

“The country withdraws its participation in the general debate,” Monica Grayley, a spokeswoman for the assembly’s president said. She added that Afghanistan’s mission to the UN had not cited a reason for the withdrawal.

The Taliban wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week requesting that its new foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, be allowed to “participate”. The letter insisted that Isaczai “no longer represents” Afghanistan at the global body.

The letter said that the Taliban had nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s permanent representative to the UN.

UN accreditation issues are dealt with by a nine-member committee, whose members include the United States, China and Russia. It traditionally meets in October or November.

Until a decision is made by the credentials committee on both Afghanistan and Myanmar, Isaczai and Myanmar’s UN envoy representing the ousted government, Kyaw Moe Tun, will remain in the seats, according to the General Assembly rules.