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Taliban ask to speak at UN General Assembly in New York

The Taliban have asked to address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York City, the BBC reports.

A UN committee will rule on the request but it is unlikely to happen during the current session of the body.

The Taliban also nominated their Doha-based spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador.

The group, which seized control of Afghanistan last month, said the envoy for the ousted government no longer represented the country.

The request to participate in the high-level debate is being considered by a credentials committee, whose nine members include the US, China and Russia, according to a UN spokesperson.

But they are unlikely to meet before the end of the General Assembly session next Monday. Until then, under UN rules, Ghulam Isaczai will remain Afghanistan’s ambassador to the global body.

He is expected to make a speech on the final day. However the Taliban said his mission “no longer represents Afghanistan”.

No government has formally recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new government and for the UN to agree to its nominee for ambassador would be an important step towards international acceptance.

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