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State Department Won’t Answer If Taliban Should Get Afghan Seat At United Nations

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Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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State Department spokesman Ned Price failed to answer Friday whether the United States supported giving Afghanistan’s seat at the United Nations to the Taliban.

Price faced a series of questions from reporters at a press briefing on how the U.S. planned to deal with the Taliban going forward, and whether they would get recognition as the legal government of Afghanistan. “It is something that we are in regular, constant contact with our allies and partners around the world to discuss,” Price said.

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Working with the Taliban in some capacities “is a separate question from recognition,” Price said when pressed on the matter. “These are questions that we are actively discussing with our European partners and well beyond.”

Price was then asked directly: Should the Taliban get Afghanistan’s seat at the U.N.?

“These are not questions that we’re prepared to answer today, and we are not prepared to answer them today precisely because we have heard a range of statements from the Taliban,” Price answered. “Some of them have been positive, some of them have been constructive, but ultimately what we will be looking for, what our international partners will be looking for, are deeds.”

In order to take over the Afghan seat at the United Nations, the Taliban would have to have a diplomatic representative credentialed by the U.N. credentialing committee, which is made up of nine member states. The new ambassador would then have to be approved by the general assembly. (RELATED: UPDATED: Everything You Need To Know About Bombing In Afghanistan)

The U.N. does not always act on requests for a new ambassador from a new government. Myanmar’s U.N. Ambassador, for instance, has not changed despite the military coup that took place in the country more than six months ago. The country’s representative at the U.N. is a holdover from the previous democratically-elected government that has refused to leave its post. The military junta has submitted a request to seat their new ambassador, but the U.N. has yet to respond.