Afghanistan envoy pulls out from UN General Assembly debate

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Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ghulam Isaczai, has pulled out of delivering an address to world leaders at the General Assembly on Monday.

Ghulam Isaczai, who represented president Ashraf Ghani’s government that was overthrown last month, was due to defy the Taliban with a speech but his name was removed from the list of speakers.

The spokesperson for the assembly’s president, Monica Grayley said, “We have received information that the Member State (Afghanistan) withdrew its participation in the General Debate which was scheduled for today.

“The move came amid competing claims for Afghanistan’s UN seat in New York after the Taliban seized power last month.”

President Ghani fled the country after the Taliban retook Afghanistan 20 years after it was removed from power in a United States-led military invasion.

Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi asked to address the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations and nominated the group’s Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, as of last week.

On September 20, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter signed by Muttaqi, saying that President Ghani was “ousted” and that countries across the world no longer recognise him as president.

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