Afghanistan’s UN representative Ghulam Isaczai — an appointee of the country’s former democratic government, which crumbled under the Taliban’s advance last month — had been expected to address world leaders on Monday.
His staff informed the global body over the weekend that he would no longer be speaking, according to UN Secretary-General spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.
“This does not change the fact that the representative of Afghanistan remains the same,” Dujarric said.
A battle over credentials began last week, when the Taliban sent the UN a request to replace Isaczai with their own representative.
According to the Taliban’s letter, Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan. Instead, it named Mohammad Suhail Shaheen as the Islamist militant group’s nominee for permanent representation in New York.
The letter also noted that former President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani has been “ousted and [countries across the world] no longer recognize him as president,” according to the spokesman’s statement.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Isaczai has continued to advocate for his country, meeting with foreign envoys and even calling on the UN Security Council to pressure the Taliban into forming a more democratic government.
Last week, he also sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General with a list of delegates for this week’s General Assembly and named himself as the head of the delegation.
Both bids for recognition have been submitted for consideration by the UN’s Credentials Committee.