Taliban request for UN representation, say ‘Will strengthen relations with US, EU’

New Delhi: The Taliban on Friday (September 24) said it is ready to work to strengthen relations with the United States, European Union, and other countries if the United Nations approves its representative. 

Citing Sputnik, ANI quoted Afghan Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Zabihullah Mujahid as saying, “If my brother Suhail is approved by the UN as our representative, he will obviously make effort to strengthen relations with other states, including the European Union and the US, as well as with Muslim countries for the sake of strong and long-term cooperation. This will be the primary task.”

Mujahid also indicated that the Taliban is likely to ask friendly countries like Qatar to help them acquire a seat at the UN. “Yes, why not. Other countries close to us, such as Qatar and others, those that supported us during a difficult period, could take on the role of mediators or a link and help us get a seat in the UN. This is our right and we welcome any nation capable of assisting this,” he told Sputnik in an interview. 

Earlier, the Taliban government had nominated Suhail Shaheen as a permanent representative to the organization.

When asked about former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani’s extradition, the Afghan Deputy Minister of Culture and Information replied, “No, we are not seeking the extradition of Ghani. But Ashraf Ghani has stolen state funds and we demand that they must be returned to the bank. They belong to people and our banks.” After the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, Ashraf Ghani had fled Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers meet, which was due to take place on September 25 at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) was cancelled over Pakistan’s insistence on certain conditions including Taliban representation. A note by Nepal foreign ministry sent on September 21 read that “due to lack of concurrence from all member states as of today, the informal meeting of the SAARC council of ministers proposed to be held in person on 25th September 2021…. will not take place”. 

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