UN says Taliban asked to address GA meeting, named UN envoy
The Taliban have asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week and nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan's UN ambassador, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday. Muttaqi asked to speak during the annual high-level meeting of the General Assembly, which finishes on Monday.
Guterres' spokesperson, Farhan Haq, confirmed Muttaqi's letter. The move sets up a showdown with Ghulam Isaczai, the UN ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan's government ousted last month by the Taliban.
UN releases emergency funds to save Afghan health system
The United Nations aid chief said Wednesday he had released $45 million in emergency funds to help prevent Afghanistan's battered health care system from collapsing.
UN's Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths warned in a statement that "medicines, medical supplies and fuel are running out in Afghanistan", AFP reported.
Afghanistan's health care system was plunged into crisis after the Taliban swept into power last month, complicating aid deliveries and leaving many health facilities understaffed.
Foreign envoys meet Taliban officials, politicians in Kabul
Special envoys from China, Russia and Pakistan met with senior officials of the Taliban government as well as former president Hamid Karzai and chairman of the National Reconciliation Council of the previous government Abdullah Abdullah.
They discussed the formation of an inclusive government, fighting terrorism and the humanitarian situation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Xiao Lijian said on Wednesday, The Hindustan Times reported.
Karzai and Abdullah stayed in the country after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month.