U.N. shelves bid by Afghan Taliban, Myanmar junta for representation

A Taliban soldier sits outside a news conference where Taliban officials announced they will start issuing passports to its citizens again following months of delays that hampered attempts by those trying to flee the country after the Taliban seized control, in Kabul, Afghanistan October 5, 2021. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The United Nations General Assembly on Friday approved postponing - for the second time - a decision on whether the Afghan Taliban administration and the Myanmar junta can send a United Nations ambassador to New York.

The 193-member General Assembly approved without a vote the decision by the U.N. credentials committee, which also deferred a decision on rival claims to Libya's U.N. seat. The nine-member committee includes Russia, China and the United States.

The postponement of decisions on Myanmar, Afghanistan and Libya leaves the current envoys in place. But the credentials committee said it could "revert to consideration of these credentials at a future time in the seventy-seventh session" of the General Assembly, which ends in September next year.

Competing claims were again made for the seats of Myanmar and Afghanistan with the Taliban administration and Myanmar's junta pitted against envoys of the governments they ousted last year. U.N. acceptance of the Taliban administration or Myanmar's junta would be a step toward the international recognition sought by both.

A rival claim was also made this year for Libya's U.N. seat - currently held by the Government of National Unity in Tripoli - by a "Government of National Stability" led by Fathi Bashagha and backed by a parliament in the country's east.

The Taliban seized power in mid-August last year from the internationally recognized government. When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, the ambassador of the government they toppled remained the U.N. envoy after the credentials committee deferred its decision on the seat.

Myanmar's junta seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government in February last year.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols

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