Ashraf Ghani: Former Afghan president apologies for fleeing country
Afghanistan’s former President, Ashraf Ghani, has apologised to the people of Afghan after fleeing the country to take refuge in the UAE whilst the Taliban took over.
“Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life,” he said, adding that he was sorry he “could not make it end differently”.
He abruptly left Afghanistan as the Taliban advanced on Kabul on 15 August. He confirmed he had not intended to abandon his people but “it was the only way”.
He has also denied he travelled to the UAE with funds of roughly £123m.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Mr Ghani said he had no choice but to leave the country in order to avoid widespread violence.
“I left at the urging of the palace security, who advised me that to stay risked setting off the same street-to-street fighting the city had suffered during the civil war of the 1990s,” he wrote, adding that he did so to “save Kabul and her six million citizens”.
He said he had devoted 20 years to helping Afghanistan become a “democratic, prosperous and sovereign state”.
Mr Ghani added that he had “deep and profound regret that my own chapter ended in similar tragedy to my predecessors”.
Mr Ghani has faced intense backlash from other Afghan politicians for leaving the country, but he says he was “forced” to leave by his security team because “there was a real chance that I would be captured and killed”.
The 72-year-old former president has said he would address the “events leading up to my departure in the near future.”
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