Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a US congressional delegation that he respects the decision of the people of Crimea to reunite with Russia. His comment follows the March 16 referendum in which 96 percent of voters opted to join the Russian Federation.
The events in Crimea and Ukraine were among several issues discussed in a Kabul meeting between Karzai and the group of Democratic and Republican congressmen. The bipartisan delegation was led by Senator Kelly Ayotte.
Karzai made it clear that Afghanistan respects the free will of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to decide their own future, the Afghan president’s office said on its website.
Despite Western claims that the accession of Crimea to Russia will never be recognized internationally, Afghanistan and many other nations have backed the decision made by the Crimean population.
On Friday, Ukraine recalled its ambassador to Armenia after the country’s president, Serzh Sargsyan, told Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation that the Crimean referendum was a “model for the realization of self-determination.”
Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Venezuela, and North Korea have also supported the right to self-determination for the people of Crimea.
On Friday, Crimea and Sevastopol – which used to be part of Ukraine – officially joined Russia, with President Putin signing the finalizing decree.
Previously, Russian lawmakers ratified an international treaty with Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which the sides signed at the Kremlin on March 18.
Crimea’s rejoining of Russia was triggered by an armed coup in Kiev, which saw democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich ousted.
The uprising of the predominantly Russian-speaking region of Crimea began after the new self-proclaimed authorities passed a law revoking the regional status of the Russian language.
It resulted in a referendum in which 83 percent of the Crimean population participated. An overwhelming majority of over 96 percent voted in favor of reunification with Russia.