Afghanistan withdraws from General Assembly debate, UN says

UNITED NATIONS: Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Nations pulled out of delivering an address to world leaders at the General Assembly later Monday, a UN spokesperson said. Ghulam Isaczai, who represented president Ashraf Ghani’s regime that was ousted last month, had been due to defy the Taliban with a speech but his name was removed from the list of speakers early Monday.

“The country withdraws its participation in the general debate,” Monica Grayley, a spokeswoman for the assembly’s president, confirmed to AFP.

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The letter insisted that Isaczai “no longer represents” Afghanistan at the global body.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.

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