The five permanent United Nations (UN) Security Council members have found common ground on Afghanistan, saying they will press the Taliban to be more inclusive. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Security Council members seek an Afghanistan where the rights of women and girls are respected. Meanwhile, the UN says the Taliban have challenged the credentials of the former Afghan ambassador to the UN and have requested to address the UN General Assembly. Afghanistan is due to speak on September 27.
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Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a Deobandi Islamist movement and military organization in Afghanistan, currently waging war within the country. Since 2016, the Taliban’s leader has been Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.