Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologized on Wednesday for the fall of his government.
He fled the capital city Kabul last month as Taliban forces approached the outskirts of the city.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Ghani said he’d left under the direction of his security team, adding, "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 had been accused by former allies of betrayal immediately after he fled to the United Arab Emirates.
There were reports that he had left with millions of dollars in cash, but the former World Bank official denied those allegations, calling them “completely and categorically false.”
Ghani expressed gratitude to Afghans for their sacrifices over the last 40 years of war and said he deeply regretted that his leadership ended “without stability and prosperity.”
He was first elected president in 2014, after a heavily disputed election over claims of voter fraud.