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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been "welcomed" to the United Arab Emirates on "humanitarian grounds," the UAE government confirmed Wednesday. On Sunday, Ghani fled Kabul without announcement or known destination, as the Taliban laid siege to Afghanistan's capital, writes CNBC. He took with him $169 million in cash, reports BBC journalist Kawoon Khamoosh.
"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," said the gulf nation's government.
A Russian news agency had previously reported the president fled the country "with four cars and a helicopter full of cash," says Reuters, but it appears the actual monetary amount was, at the time, not yet known.
On Wednesday, the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan asked Interpol police to detain Ghani and two other colleagues "on charges of stealing public wealth," Afghanistan's TOLO News reports.
Ghani claimed he left the country to prevent "a flood of bloodshed," CNBC reports. He later defended his decision in a social media post, writing, "If I had stayed, countless of my countrymen would be martyred and Kabul would face destruction," per The New York Times.