Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani: I left to avoid bloodshed and didn’t take cash

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Ashraf Ghani is in exile (AFP via Getty Images)
Ashraf Ghani is in exile (AFP via Getty Images)

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has spoken for the first time from exile to say he left to avoid bloodshed.

The exiled president denied reports he had escaped with heaps of money on his person.

Speaking from exile in the United Arab Emirates, he shared a video streamed on Facebook on Wednesday.

“If I had stayed, I would be witnessing bloodshed in Kabul,” Ghani said in his first public comments since it was confirmed he was in the UAE.

Mr Ghani told a Facebook live broadcast, according to translation by Al Jazeera: “What had happened 25 years ago in Afghanistan was going to take place again. That was something that needed to be avoided, a shameful development like that.

“The dignity of Afghanistan was important for me, and that was to be ensured, so I had to leave Afghanistan in order to present bloodshed, in order to make sure that a huge disaster (was) prevented.”

Ghani said he was advised to leave the Presidential Palace in Kabul by government officials.

It was previously claimed he had left in a helicopter with a stash of cash - something he has now denied.

Earlier on, it emerged the Afghan President and his family were in the United Arab Emirates.

The Gulf state’s foreign ministry confirmed he has been welcomed into the UAE on humanitarian grounds.

“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 statement.

It comes after the Taliban held its first press conference after taking over Kabul.

“We don’t want any enemies,” their spokesperson told cameras through a translator.

“We don’t want to repeat any conflict, any war again, and we want to do away with the factors for conflict.

“Animosities have come to an end, and we would like to live peacefully. We don’t want any internal enemies and any external enemies.”

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