The Afghan government recently dispatched a congratulatory message to the Syrian president Basharul Assad for his re-election. This is while most of the country's western allies have declared the Syrian election illegitimate and unlawful and therefore criticize the Afghan stance. This has led to reactions from Afghan officials.
On Monday, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) defended Afghanistan's position and emphasized that the Afghan government is entirely independent in formulating its foreign policy and creating bilateral ties with other nations.
MoFA Spokesman Ahmad Shekib Mustaghna said that the congratulatory message was part of Afghanistan's plan to enhance its relations with other countries.
"The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a sovereign state; in line with its national interest, it is completely independent to decide the type of relations it has with other sovereign states," Mustaghna asserted. "I want to emphasize once again that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan maintains the complete right to decide about its ties with other nations."
Meanwhile, political commentators argue that Karzai's risqué 'autonomous and brave leader approach could have potentially damaging outcomes for Afghanistan's future.
"On the one hand, we support NATO and the west about regional issues, but, on the other hand, we try to manage our policies against them," University Lecturer Juma Khan Mohammadi said. "This will diminish foreign aid from international institutions."
The congratulatory message to Assad is not the first time the Afghan government's stance has significantly differed from that of its western allies. President Karzai was among four world leaders who had recognized the freedom of Crimea and its annexation with the Russian Federation.
Such stances are believed to further provoke confrontations between Afghanistan and the west.