Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in UAE After Fleeing Kabul During Taliban Takeover

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani makes an address about the latest developments in the country from exile in United Arab Emirates, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video on August 18, 2021. (Facebook | Ashraf Ghani | via REUTERS)

Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who fled his country as its capital Kabul was being overtaken by Taliban fighters, is now in the United Arab Emirates, the Emirati government confirmed to CNBC.

“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,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, which was later posted to its website.

Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday evening, with no announcement or clear reporting on where he was going. As the Taliban entered the presidential palace and declared the war “over,” Ghani, 72, said he fled to prevent “a flood of bloodshed.”

“The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen,” Ghani said. He was elected president twice, the first time in September 2014.

The White House, Pentagon and State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Taliban forces made a series of stunning advances across the country of 39 million in the wake of the Biden administration and NATO announcing a full departure of U.S. and coalition forces by the end of August.

Amid the exodus of foreign troops, the Taliban were able to declare near complete control of the country within 10 days of seizing their first provincial capital.

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SOURCE: CNBC, Natasha Turak and Amanda Macias

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