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Afghanistan’s ex-president is in Abu Dhabi, UAE - TV

Afghanistan’s ex-president, Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country is now settled in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Kabul News says on its Twitter page citing a source.

On Sunday evening, several hours before the Taliban radical movement (outlawed in Russia), entered Kabul without encountering any resistance, Ghani left the country. Earlier, Kabul News said that he stopped in Oman, where he arrived from Tajikistan. The newspaper Hasht-e Subh Daily said Ghani had flown into Oman from Uzbekistan. He left the Afghan capital in the company of his wife Rula Ghani and two other persons. No official information about Ghani’s whereabouts is available at this point.

The former president said on his Facebook page he had stepped down in order to avoid bloodshed. He left with a hefty sum in cash, some of which had to be abandoned on the airfield, as there was not enough room inside the helicopter, the Russian embassy in Kabul said.

The coordination council created for the peaceful handover of power had reportedly asked Ghani to cede power in its favor to enable the calm transition of power, but he refused. Bloomberg said the negotiations on the handover of power had begun in Qatar’s capital Doha several weeks before Kabul’s fall. Presumably, some representatives of Afghanistan’s previous authorities might take seats on the bodies of power that might have been created together with the Taliban, but Ghani’s escape upset these plans.

In the meantime, according to the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihulla Mujahid the movement is holding consultations on Afghanistan’s future political system. Participating in the talks is the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, who together with the leader of the Islamic party Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and ex-president Hamid Karzai created Afghanistan’s coordination council for the peaceful transition of power.

Some other high-ranking officials and politicians followed Ghani in leaving the country, among them, Marshal Abdul-Rashid Dostum, and Atta Muhammed Nur, who earlier declared a war on the Taliban in Balkh province, former deputy chief of the National Security Council Serur Ahmad Durrani, former Defense Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and Herat province’s militia commander Mohammad Ismail Khan.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 18Aug21]

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