EXCLUSIVE: Former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley criticized President Biden for not demanding that his international colleagues not recognize “the Taliban” as the official government in Afghanistan, saying that America looked “weak and pathetic”.
The Taliban wrote to the United Nations asking for credentials to speak at the General Assembly’s high-level meeting of leaders this week. The United States is on the accreditation board.
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Haley, who served in the Trump administration, hit Biden’s address on the corpse Tuesday morning, which did not mention the Taliban, and said he lacked “courage.”
“This week Joe Biden was brave enough to go to the UN to teach the world about human rights,” Haley told Fox News. “Yet he does not find the courage to call on its members not to recognize the Taliban.”
“These terrorists are chasing our allies, forcing young girls into marriage and killing innocent Afghans on the streets,” Haley said. “America looks weak and pathetic.”
Haley said the Taliban are “a terrorist group holding a country hostage, not the legitimate government of Afghanistan”.
Haley and her advocacy group “Stand for America” have drawn up a petition calling on Biden’s government not to recognize the Taliban as the official government in Afghanistan. According to a Haley advisor, the petition already has 65,000 signatures.
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But the Biden government has said it is in “no rush” to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
“There is no rush for recognition, and that is planned depending on what steps the Taliban take,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this month. “The world will be watching whether they allow American citizenship, whether they allow individuals to go if they want, and how they treat women and girls across the country.”
And Biden said earlier this month that recognition from the Taliban government was “a long way off.”
Despite no official recognition, the Biden administration has described the Taliban as “businesslike and professional” in its dealings with the Americans in leaving Afghanistan after the US military funds are fully withdrawn on August 31, labeled the dialogue as “cooperative” and as a “positive first step”.
The Taliban officially announced the formation of their new government earlier this month, with many old guard members remaining in the new government.
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The government is led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as deputy. Other appointments include Mullah Yaqoob as acting defense minister and Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as second deputy.
The incumbent Interior Minister of the Taliban is currently Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani network, a nominee Terrorist organization and one of FBIs most wanted terrorists.
The office of the director of the National Intelligence Service describes the network as “a Sunni Islamist militant organization” responsible for some of the most well-known attacks of the war in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is due to deliver the final speech on the last day of the high-level meeting on September 27th. It is currently unclear who will speak when the Taliban takes their seat in Afghanistan.
A Biden government official said that members of the Credentials Committee are pondering and monitoring whether the Taliban may be authenticated “accurately.”
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When the Taliban last ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, the United Nations refused to recognize their government and instead left the seat of Afghanistan to the previous warlord-dominated government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was ultimately killed by a suicide bomber in Rabbani’s government in 2011 , who brought Usama bin Laden, the mastermind of September 11th, from Sudan to Afghanistan in 1996.
The Taliban have declared that they want international recognition and financial help in rebuilding the war-torn country. But the composition of the new Taliban government poses a dilemma for the United Nations. Several of the interim ministers are on the United Nations’ so-called black list for international terrorists and terrorist financiers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.