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

The group’s foreign minister made the request in a letter on Monday. A UN committee will rule on the request.

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 of the meeting on 27 September. However the Taliban said his mission “no longer represents Afghanistan”.

They also said that several countries no longer recognised former President Ashraf Ghani as leader.

Mr Ghani abruptly left Afghanistan as Taliban militants advanced on the capital, Kabul, on 15 August. He has since taken refuge in the United Arab Emirates.

SOURCE: bbcnews.com

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