Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (File image)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 18 confirmed welcoming ousted Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on "humanitarian grounds".
"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," an official statement noted.
The statement, which did not specify the city where Ghani is staying, was issued shortly after media reports said he was spotted in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.
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Ghani fled from Afghanistan on August 15, a day before Kabul was taken over by the insurgent group Taliban.
Reports had earlier suggested that he escaped to neighbouring Tajikistan. Subsequently, he was also rumoured to be in Oman.
According to Russian official media reports, Ghani fled the war-torn country aboard a helicopter stuffed with money. The reports also claimed that he had to leave some cash as it could not be squeezed into the chopper.
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Ghani, though widely criticised by his political allies in Afghanistan for his exit from the country, said in a statement issued on Facebook, on August 16, that his decision was aimed at avoiding bloodshed.
"They (Taliban) are now facing a new historical test. Either they will preserve the name and honour of Afghanistan or they will give priority to other places and networks," he added, saying he left to prevent a "flood of bloodshed".
Abdullah Abdullah, who was appointed by the Ashraf Ghani-led government as the head of panel which negotiated with Taliban, had slammed the president for his exit, saying, "God will hold him accountable".
Subsequently, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, and ex-prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar announced the formation of coordination council for peaceful transfer of power.
The representatives of Taliban led by senior commander Anas Haqqani met Karzai and Abdullah earlier in the day.