The Palestinian leadership supports Russia on the legitimacy of the referendum held in early 2014 on the Crimean Peninsula, Abdel Hafiz Nofal, Palestine’s Ambassador to Russia told Izvestia newspaper. He stressed that peoples’ right to self-determination is inalienable for all, without exception.
In response to the question as to the stance the Palestinian leadership takes on the status of Crimea and the results of the referendum held therein, Abdel Hafiz Nofal said that the residents of the peninsula had an absolute right to express their will in such a manner.
“Our stance on the matter is quite clear. We have a very clear notion of what took place in Crimea and we confirm our position in support of Russia’s actions in the matter. We advocate our own right to self-determination and we think that any other people has the same right”, Palestine’s Ambassador said.
The diplomat added that official recognition may be forthcoming pursuant to a bilateral discussion of pressing issues, noting that Palestinian delegations had visited the Crimean Peninsula several times. Both Crimeans and Palestinians have clear intentions of continuing the contacts, he emphasized.
Georgy Muradov, Permanent Presidential Representative of the Republic of Crimea, also spoke about Russia and Palestine’s mutual understanding of the peninsula’s status.
“Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Palestine, spoke very warmly about Crimea during our meeting; the Palestinians understand that Crimea is Russia, and it will be no other way”, Georgy Muradov added. “We see them as our partners, as friends sympathetic to our position. Russia has always had a clear stance on the Middle East settlement, taking full account of the Palestinian people’s desire to gain their statehood and independence.”
Mr. Muradov noted that the attitude to the Crimean issue is gradually changing not only in the Middle East but in Europe as well.
“Foreign countries realize that Crimea has always been part of Russia, Crimea is vitally important for Russia. not by chance do many delegations visiting Crimea express readiness to accept these facts. But the political establishment of Western countries is consolidated behind undermining Russia’s sovereignty. Nonetheless, there is a growing, step-by-step process of realizing that Crimea will never again change its status; it will always be part of Russia”, assured Georgy Muradov.