Afghanistan voiceless as annual UN meet wraps up

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The UN General Assembly drew to a close Monday without speeches by Afghanistan or Myanmar after world powers intervened in disputes over who would represent the two countries.

The Afghan ambassador appointed by ousted president Ashraf Ghani had been due to defy the Taliban with an address at the meeting that saw 100 leaders gather in New York despite coronavirus fears.

But Ghulam Isaczai s name was removed from the list of speakers early Monday in an move that diplomats suggested had been brokered by Washington, Beijing and Moscow after they did the same for Myanmar.

“I imagine” that there was an agreement struck by those three powers, an ambassador with a Security Council country told AFP.

Another diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, described it as a “wise decision.”

Last week, the Taliban wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres requesting that its new foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi be allowed to participate instead of Isaczai.

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