Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has apologized to the people of his country after fleeing to take refuge in the United Arab Emirates as the Taliban advanced last month.
He abruptly left Afghanistan as Taliban militants advanced on the capital on 15 August. Reports say he fled to UAE wwith about $169m (£123m) but he has denied those allegations.
“Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life,” Ghani said on his social media handle.
“I’m sorry I could not make it end differently”.
He said he had not intended to abandon his people but “it was the only way”.
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”.
He added that he had “deep and profound regret that my own chapter ended in similar tragedy to my predecessors”.
In a live Facebook address on 18 August, Mr Ghani said he was “forced” to leave Afghanistan by his security team because “there was a real chance that I would be captured and killed”.
He said that when the Taliban entered the presidential palace in Kabul, “they started looking for me from room to room”.
Denying claims that he had taken a large amount of money with him when he left the country, Ghani said he was “not even allowed to take his sandals off and put his shoes on”.
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