Ashraf Ghani vowed to ‘fight to death’ hours before fleeing Afghanistan: Antony Blinken
Former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said he would “fight to the death” the night before he fled Afghanistan as the Taliban closed in on Kabul, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told an Afghan television channel.
“What he told me in that conversation the night before he fled is that, as he put it, he was prepared to fight to the death,” Blinken said when asked by TOLO News in Doha whether the US had helped him flee the country.
” In less than 24 hours, he’d left Afghanistan. So no, I certainly didn’t know about it, and we certainly did nothing to facilitate it,” he said in the interview with TOLO’s correspondent Lotfullah Najafizada, according to a transcript released by the US State Department on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ghani, who fled to the UAE as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, issued a statement apologizing for ‘abandoning’ Afghan citizens and said he acted on the advice of the palace security. He also dismissed rumours of taking off with millions of dollars.
Earlier, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it has welcomed exiled Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country.
“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,” read a statement on the ministry’s official website.
Ghani’s location has been under speculation since he escaped from Afghanistan on Sunday, as the Taliban arrived in capital Kabul in the concluding stage to wrap up a 10-day lightning invasion across the country.
It was previously also speculated that Ghani and his family had left for Tajikistan.
A Foreign Ministry official said his location was unidentified and the Taliban said it was examining his location.
Whereas, foreign media has claimed on Afghanistan communicating with Interpol and asking it to take Ghani in custody also began to surface earlier today.
According to a Private newspaper, the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan made the petition on custody of Ghani “stealing from the country’s treasury”.
Furthermore, it has also necessitated the arrest of former Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib and Ghani’s Chief Advisor Fazel Mahmood, Private News said, quoting sources.
Whereas Ghani’s last statement had stated that he left Afghanistan “to avoid bloodshed”.
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