Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, family in UAE after fleeing Kabul
Dubai, Aug 18: The United Arab Emirates has accepted President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds, after he fled his country amid a Taliban takeover.
"The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation can confirm that the UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds," it said in a brief statement.
Ghani left the country Sunday, joining his fellow citizens and foreigners in a stampede fleeing the advancing Taliban and signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.
Several media reports have claimed that Ghani has fled the war-torn country aboard a helicopter stuffed with money but had to leave some cash as it could not be squeezed into the chopper.
Quoting Russian embassy in Kabul, Russian official news agency TASS reported that the 72-year-old President fled Afghanistan aboard a helicopter packed with money.
"As for the reasons for the collapse of the regime, they are characterised by how Ghani fled the country. Four cars were packed with money, and they tried to cram another bag of cash into the helicopter. Not all the cash managed to squeeze in, and some of the money was left lying on the airfield," a mission employee was quoted as saying by the report.
In his first comments after he left Afghanistan, Ghani in a Facebook post on Sunday said he was faced with a "hard choice" between the "armed Taliban" who wanted to enter the Presidential Palace or "leaving the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting the past 20 years".
The Taliban entered the capital earlier in the day, and an official with the militant group said it would soon announce the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace - a return rich in symbolism to the name of the country under the Taliban government ousted by US-led forces after the 9/11 attacks.