These Are The 9 Countries Set To Decide Whether Taliban Will Represent Afghanistan At The UN

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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The fate of the Taliban at the United Nations (U.N.) rests in the hands of the nine countries making up the body’s Credentials Committee, including the United States, China and Russia.

The Islamic militant group wrote the U.N. Secretary-General, Portugal’s Antonio Guterres, Monday to request permission to participate in the ongoing gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, according to The Associated Press. Five days prior, Afghanistan’s current ambassador to the U.N., Ghulam, Isaczai, provided Guterres with a list of the Afghan government’s delegation for the proceedings.

The Taliban letter was written with the letterhead “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” and was signed by the Taliban’s appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ameer Khan Muttaqi, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. The letter said that former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was removed from power by the Islamic militants Aug. 15, and that the global community no longer recognized him or his government as the leaders of Afghanistan. As a result, Muttaqi said, Isaczai could no longer represent Afghanistan at the U.N. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Taliban Recognition Is More Likely Than You Think)

Sweden, the Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia and Sierra Leone are the other six countries making up the Credentials Committee, alongside the United States, Russia and China. None of the nine countries officially recognized the Taliban government last time it was in power between 1996-2001, but both Russia and China have signaled they may do so this time around. (RELATED: How A US Ally Helped Build The Taliban Into The Rulers Of Afghanistan)

An American State Department official told reporters that the committee is unlikely to make a decision before the end of the ongoing “high level week,” which has seen dozens of world leaders, including President Joe Biden, address the body. The official said the U.S. and other members of the committee will take some time to deliberate, but it is unclear as of now what the chances are that the Taliban will be granted legitimacy at the world’s leading international governmental body.