Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday (August 18, 2021) posted a video on his Facebook page defending his decision to flee Kabul in the face of the Taliban advance, describing it as the only way to prevent bloodshed.
Ghani also denied claims made by his country’s diplomat that he had stolen USD 169 million from state funds before fleeing the country. In the video, Ghani also confirmed that he was in the United Arab Emirates.
Additionally, Ghani thanked Afghan security forces in his message and said that the “failure of the peace process” led to the Taliban snatching power.
In the video message, Afghan President detailed his escape from the Taliban and said he was “forced to leave Afghanistan with one set of traditional clothes, a vest and the sandals I was wearing. I was evacuated in a condition where I couldn’t even put on my shoes,”
“Accusations were charged in these days that money was transferred, these accusations are fully baseless,” he said.
Afghan President Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday just as the Taliban approached Kabul.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said his administration is committed to keeping US troops in Afghanistan until every American is evacuated. Biden added that the US troops will remain in Afghanistan even beyond his August 31 deadline for withdrawal, if need be.
He also pushed back against criticism that the US should have done more to plan for the evacuation and withdrawal, which has been marked by scenes of violence and chaos as thousands attempted to flee while the Taliban advanced.
In an interview with ABC News, Biden said the US will do “everything in our power to evacuate Americans and US allies from Afghanistan before the deadline”.