(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai has further distanced himself from the U.S. and its Western allies by supporting the right of Crimea to join the Russian Federation.
Karzai stated his opinion to a congressional delegation led by New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte during what turned out to be a futile attempt to convince the lame duck leader to sign onto the Bilateral Security Agreement that would keep a residual force of foreign troops in Afghanistan after 2014.
According to a statement issued by Karzai’s office, “The president said that Afghanistan respects the free will of the people of Crimea to decide about their own future.”
Ayotte released her own statement, saying, “We rejected his statement about Crimea and continued to press him on the critical issues pertaining to the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship.”
The few nations that have expressed the same sentiment as Karzai about the Russian annexation of Crimea include Syria and Venezuela.
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Chieu Luu and Huizhong Wu, CNN
Michael Pearson, Faith Karimi and Ian Lee, CNN