Afghan President Ashraf Ghani delivered a speech in the UAE that he left the country to prevent bloodshed.
Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President in exile in the United Arab Emirates, said he left Kabul to prevent bloodshed and denied reports that he took a large amount of money with him when he left the presidential palace.
Ghani was severely criticized by former ministers for the sudden departure of Taliban forces from Kabul when they entered Kabul on Sunday.
“If I stay, I will witness the bloodshed in Kabul,” Ghani said in a video broadcast on Facebook on Wednesday. This was his first public comment after he was confirmed to be in the UAE.
He added that he had left on the advice of government officials.
“Kabul should not become another Yemen or Syria because of a power struggle, so I was forced to leave,” Ghani said.
He also tried to refute the rumors that he left the country with millions of dollars.
“I only brought a vest and some clothes when I left. The assassination against my personality has been going on, saying that I brought money,” Ghani said in the video.
“These allegations are baseless lies. You can even ask customs officials-they are baseless.”
The whereabouts of the president was not known until Wednesday, and some speculated that he had fled to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Oman.
Earlier Wednesday, the United Arab Emirates confirmed in a departmental statement that the Gulf country received Ghani and his family “on humanitarian grounds.”
The Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan accused Ghani of stealing US$169 million from state funds and called on international police to arrest him.
Ambassador Mohammad Zahir Aghbar said at a press conference on Wednesday that Ghani “stole $169 million from the treasury” and said his flight “betrayed the country and the nation”.
Al Jazeera’s report in the United Nations stated that this was an allegation that “aroused repercussions on the social media of his former senior cabinet members and people close to him”, including his defense minister Bismirah Khan.
“Bismilla Khan has been saying on Twitter:’Those who trade or betray the motherland should be punished and arrested.’ He added the hashtag #InterpolArrestGhani,” Beth said.
‘I am consulting my return’
Ghani also stated in his live speech that he supports the talks between the Taliban and senior government officials and that he is “negotiating to return” after seeking asylum in the UAE.
“I support the government’s initiative to negotiate with Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai. I hope this process will be successful,” he said.
“I am negotiating to return to Afghanistan so that I can continue to work for justice, true Islam and national values.”
The UAE is one of three countries including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. They recognized the former Taliban regime, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
On Monday, there were scenes of panic and chaos at Kabul Airport, as desperate residents tried to flee the war-torn country. According to reports, some people died on planes flying out of the capital.
Earlier this year, as foreign troops announced their withdrawal from the country before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attack that led to the American invasion, the war between the Taliban and the Afghan army intensified.
With the fall of the Afghan government, attention turned to ensuring the safety of civilians and evacuees and the orderly transfer of power.
The Taliban declared the end of the war in Afghanistan and said they are working to form an inclusive government.