Afghan envoy to UN resigns after Taliban moved to oust him

December 18, 2021 GMT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The former Afghan government’s ambassador to the United Nations has resigned after the country’s current Taliban rulers sought to replace him with their own envoy.

Ghulam Isaczai told the U.N. on Thursday that he stepped down the day before, U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq said.

Afghanistan’s U.N. Mission tweeted that another diplomat, Naseer Faiq, would lead it as a chargé d’affaires. The term can denote someone filling in between ambassadors. The mission said it would continue working “to share the concerns and legitimate demands of our fellow citizens at the U.N.”

Taliban leaders, however, have been trying to put their own representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, in their country’s seat at the U.N.

Isaczai, a longtime U.N. diplomat, was appointed last June by President Ashraf Ghani, whose government was ousted by the Taliban on Aug. 15 amid a chaotic withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops.


The Taliban challenged Isaczai’s credentials to remain in his post. The U.N. General Assembly delayed action on the request Dec. 6, so he stayed in the job.

No country has recognized the Taliban, which has come under intense international pressure to broaden its all-male government overwhelmingly drawn from the country’s dominant Pashtun ethnic group, and to ensure women’s rights to education, employment and participation in political and social life.

A message seeking comment was sent to Isaczai on Friday.