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I left Afghanistan empty handed & in my slippers, says ousted president Ghani

Ashraf Ghani (File Photo)

Ousted Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has denied allegations that he transferred large sums of money out of the country before fleeing to the United Arab Emirates.

"I was expelled from Afghanistan in such a way that I didn't even get the chance to take my slippers off my feet and pull on my boots," he added, noting that he had arrived in the Emirates "empty-handed," he said in a recorded video message posted on his Facebook page.

Russia's embassy in Kabul said on Monday that Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not all fit in, the RIA news agency reported.

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"Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac," Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA.

Ghani said, "For now, I am in the Emirates so that bloodshed and chaos is stopped."

The UAE confirmed Wednesday he was being hosted there on "humanitarian grounds".

"Do not believe whoever tells you that your president sold you out and fled for his own advantage and to save his own life. These accusations are baseless… and I strongly reject them," Ghani added.

"Had I stayed there, an elected president of Afghanistan would have been hanged again right before the Afghans' own eyes," he remarked.

He was referring to the first time the Taliban seized power in Kabul in 1996 when they had dragged former communist president Mohammed Najibullah from a United Nations office and hanged him from lamp post in a public street.

He also said he was making efforts to "safeguard the rule of Afghans over our country", without offering details.

Meanwhile, the Taliban, who pledged to form a peaceful regime in Afghanistan,   met former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and former chief executive officer Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday.

Ghani said that he supported those negotiations and was in talks to return home even though it was his political rival Abdullah Abdullah who announced that the president had left the country on Sunday.

The United States reiterated on Wednesday that it did not consider Ashraf Ghani as a player in Afghanistan.

"He is no longer a figure in Afghanistan," Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told journalists in Washington. However, she refused to comment on the United Arab Emirates' decision to grant him asylum.