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Ashraf Ghani Apologize to Afghan People

September 9, 2021

Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who fled Kabul as Taliban forces approached the city’s outskirts last month, issued an apology on Wednesday for his government’s drastic fall but denied taking millions of dollars with him. Ghani said in a statement posted on Twitter that he left at the instigation of his security team, who warned that staying would result in “the same horrific neighborhood fighting the city had suffered during the Civil War of the 1990s.”

“Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life,” he said, “but I believed it was the only way to keep the guns quiet and save Kabul and its 6 million citizens.” The statement largely echoed a message Ghani sent from the UAE shortly after his leaving, which drew harsh criticism from former allies who alleged him of deception.

Ghani, a former World Bank official who became president after two bitterly fought elections plagued by pervasive accusations of corruption on both sides, called reports that he had left with millions of dollars in cash “completely and categorically false.” “Corruption is a curse that has weakened our country for decades,” he said, adding that he and his Lebanese-born wife were “strict in our financial affairs.”

He expressed gratitude for the sacrifices made by Afghans during their country’s 40-year war. “It is with deep and powerful regret that my own chapter ended badly, as did those of my predecessors, without ensuring security and prosperity. I apologize to the Afghan people for not being able to change the outcome.”

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