The Taliban have made a request for speaking rights at the United Nations General Assembly and have nominated their Doha-based spokesperson Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN Ambassador.
The news was first reported by Reuters news agency but has since been independently confirmed by SABC News.
The Taliban’s newly installed Foreign Minister made the request in a letter to Secretary-General António Guterres.
UN spokesperson Farhan Haq has confirmed receipt of the letter.
Haq shared details of the Taliban letter indicating that the mission of the current Permanent Representative Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai was over and that he no longer represented Afghanistan.
Isaczai is a holdover from the Government of President Ashraf Ghani and represented his country at the UN at the time of his government’s collapse in August.
He has petitioned the UN to allow him to continue in his role at the global organisation, including addressing the GA next Monday.
Haq says they have sent the competing communications to members of the credential committee for the 76th session of the General Assembly for a decision.
Guterres has repeatedly emphasised the international community’s ability to use recognition of the Taliban as leverage to seek gains on human rights in the country.
VIDEO: In August, Taliban took full control of Afghanistan:
Fear instilled in Afghanistan population
Last month, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the fear instilled in a significant portion of the Afghanistan population is profound given the history of the Taliban in that country.
Thousands of Afghans fearing for their lives and future descended on Kabul airport over the last days in the hopes of being evacuated from the country by the United States that has sent some 6000 troops to assist with transfers while securing the area.
The Taliban has declared an amnesty for all in Afghanistan and encouraged women to join their government.
In the video below, SABC’s US Correspondent Sherwin Bryce-Pease reports on the story: