Afghan president heads to Sochi

February 07, 2014

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) Afghan President Hamid Karzai is travelling to Russia to attend Friday's opening ceremony of the Winter Games in Sochi.

The Afghan presidential palace said in a statement Friday that Karzai and his high-level delegation were invited by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It added that Karzai will meet with Putin, China's president and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon while he is in Russia.

Karzai's trip is expected to last one day.

Some prominent leaders - including U.S. President Barack Obama - are staying away from Sochi, upset at a law that Putin championed barring homosexual ''propaganda'' aimed at minors that has been used to more widely discriminate against gays.

But organizers say some 66 leaders - including heads of state and international organizations - are joining the games.

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