Action Delayed On Myanmar And Afghan Requests For Un Seats

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A key U.N. committee decided Wednesday to delay action on requests by Myanmar’s military junta and Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers to take their countries’ seats at the United Nations.

The announcement by the chair of the General Assembly’s Credentials Committee means that the ambassadors from the former governments in Myanmar and Afghanistan will remain in their jobs.

Sweden’s U.N. Ambassador Anna Eneström told reporters after a closed meeting of the nine-member committee which she chaired that “the committee has decided to defer its decision of the credentials in these two situations.” She said the committee has not scheduled another meeting and would not say how long the issue of credentials for Myanmar and Afghanistan would be deferred.

Myanmar’s military rulers sought to replace the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, who opposed their Feb. 1 ouster of civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and takeover of the government.

Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said in July that he had been terminated “due to abuses of his assigned duty and mandate” and that Aung Thurein, who left the military this year after 26 years, had been appointed as Myanmar’s U.N. ambassador.

The Taliban challenged the credentials of Ghulam Isaczai, the ambassador from Afghanistan’s former government which they ousted on Aug. 15, and sought to replace him with a new U.N. permanent representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, who was a Taliban spokesman during peace negotiations in Qatar.

The Credentials Committee’s decision to defer action means that Myanmar’s Thurein and the Taliban’s Shaheen will not replace their predecessors -- at least for now.

Sweden’s Eneström said the committee’s report will be made public “once it has been issued for the consideration of the General Assembly.”

The members of the credentials committee are Sweden, the United States, Russia, China, Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia and Sierra Leone..