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NATO head: Afghan prez wrong to charge collusion

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March 18, 2013 10:25 AM EST | AP

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BRUSSELS — The head of the NATO military alliance has emphatically rejected the charge by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the U.S. 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, Karzai accused the West of trying to craft an agreement between the Taliban and his political opponents. The U.S. has denied the allegations.

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