- Associated Press - Monday, March 18, 2013

BRUSSELS (AP) — The head of the NATO military alliance has emphatically rejected the charge by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the United States and NATO are colluding with the Taliban to keep foreign troops in Afghanistan.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen calls that “an absolutely ridiculous idea.”

Earlier this month, Mr. Karzai accused the West of trying to craft an agreement between the Taliban and his political opponents. The U.S. has denied the allegations.

SEE ALSO: Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai’s opponents in quiet talks with Taliban to forge peace deal

“We fully respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen told reporters Monday. “But we would also expect acknowledgment from the Afghan side that we have actually invested a lot in blood and treasure in helping President Karzai’s country to move forward.”