Nato's secretary-general has sharply rejected Afghan president Hamid Karzai's view that the presence of international troops in his country has caused much suffering but achieved few gains.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Brussels that the progress achieved in Afghanistan "thanks to the immense efforts and the solemn sacrifices" by the US and other troop contributor nations "is remarkable and it cannot be denied".
Mr Rasmussen insisted "Afghanistan has come a long way in the past 10 years".
Mr Karzai told the BBC earlier this week that Nato "caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss of life, and no gains because the country is not secure".
The spat comes as the US is negotiating an agreement over the future role of its troops in the country beyond next year.