BRUSSELS, March 18 (Xinhua) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday it was "absolutely ridiculous" for Afghan President Hamid Karzai to accuse the United States of colluding with the Taliban.
"I reject the idea that was publicly launched by President Karzai that one way or the other there is a so-called collusion between NATO, ISAF, U.S. and the Taliban. It's an absolutely ridiculous idea," Rasmussen said at his monthly press conference in Brussels.
On March 10, Karzai accused the U.S. of conspiring with the Taliban to keep foreign troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, when NATO is going to end ts combat mission.
"Troops from 50 ISAF nations have sacrificed in order to bring progress to Afghanistan," he said. "We fully respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan. 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."
The NATO chief said Karzai had changed some of statements and stressed the remarks were meant to "help reform, not destroy, the relationship."
Karzai has been increasingly critical of NATO's mission in his country. In February, he accused U.S. special forces of harassing and torturing civilians in the central Wardak province and ordered their withdrawal from the restive province within two weeks.