Afghan envoy withdraws participation from UNGA high-level debate; Spokesman confirms

Afghan envoy withdraws participation from UNGA high-level debate; Spokesman confirms

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 27 (APP):Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United Nations, Ghulam Isaczai, withdrew his name from the list of speakers in the UN General Assembly for Monday, the final day of the the high-level debate, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric has confirmed.  

Isaczai, who was appointed by the defunct Ashraf Ghani’s regime a couple of months before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, informed the United Nations of his decision not to participate in the debate, without giving any reason, the spokesman said in response to questions at the regular briefing in New York.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said in an interview with The New York Times Sunday that Isaczai, had no standing and that Afghanistan’s seat at the U.N. should remain vacant for now.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have requested that Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesman in Doha replace Isaczai and be permitted to speak at the General Assembly.

FM Qureshi said it remained to be seen whether the Taliban’s request was justified. But he also said Isaczai’s right to represent Afghanistan at the United Nations was not defensible because his government had collapsed and Ghani, its president, had fled abroad.

“Who is he speaking for?” FM Qureshi asked about Isaczai. The best short-term solution for Afghanistan’s U.N. seat, he said, is “keep it empty.”

The question over who should be Afghanistan’s rightful representative at the United Nations is to be taken up by the General Assembly’s Credentials Committee, a nine-member group that includes China, Russia and the United States.

The Committee is not expected to address the question until October or later, according to the report.