Former Afghan President Ghani apologizes to Afghans for the fall of his government

The former president explained that his security advised him to leave Kabul.

Updated: September 8, 2021 - 5:15pm

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Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologized to Afghans on Wednesday after fleeing Afghanistan, but denied reports that he had taken millions of the people's dollars with him.

Ghani posted a statement on Twitter, writing that his palace security had said if he stayed in Kabul, he "risked setting off the same horrific street-to-street fighting the city had suffered during the Civil War of the 1990s.

"Leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of my life, but I believed it was the only way to keep the guns silent and save Kabul and her 6 million citizens," he continued.

"I have devoted 20 years of my life to helping the Afghan people work toward building a democratic, prosperous, and sovereign state -- it was never my intent to abandon the people or that vision."

Addressing the allegations that he fled with millions of dollars of money from the Afghan people, Ghani said, "These charges are completely and categorically false.

"Corruption is a plague that has crippled our country for decades and fighting corruption has been a central focus of my efforts as president."

He explained how he and his Lebanese wife were "scrupulous in our personal finances" and welcomed "an official audit or financial investigation under UN auspices or any other appropriate independent body to prove the veracity of my statements here."

Ghani added that his close aides are prepared "to submit their finances to public audit" and he encouraged former senior officials to do likewise.

After offering his appreciation for the sacrifices of Afghans over the last 40 years, he said, "It is with deep and profound regret that my own chapter ended in similar tragedy to my predecessors - without ensuring stability and prosperity. I apologize to the Afghan people that I could not make it end differently."

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