The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday that it is hosting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani “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 fled Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taliban closed in on Kabul, before the insurgents walked into the Afghan capital unopposed.
In a Facebook post, Ghani said the “Taliban have won” and that he fled to avoid a “flood of bloodshed”.
His whereabouts were unknown until Wednesday, with speculation that he had fled to Tajiktan, Uzbejistan or Oman.
This would not be the first time that the oil-rich Gulf country opens its arms to former leaders and their relatives, now persona non grata in their country.
The UAE is one of three nations, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which recognised the previous Taliban regime, which ruled from 1996 to 2001.
Helicopter full of cash
The Russian embassy in Kabul has claimed that Ghani fled with tons of money, RIA Novosti said in another report.
Citing eyewitnesses the embassy said Ghani fled with four cars full of money and a helicopter which had also been stuffed with cash. It said Ghani took so much cash that some money would not fit and had to be left lying on the tarmac.
In Kabul, Ghani’s former aides have been criticizing him for playing with the blood of the people and committing treason, says Tolo News.
Angry people tore down Ashraf Ghani’s posters near Kabul airport on Monday.
The story is being updated