Karzai: US must respect Afghan sovereignty

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In this photo released by the Turkish Presidency Press Office, Turkish Abdullah Gul, second right, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, second left, and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pose for cameras after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey. Karzai and Sharif are in Turkey for the 8th Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey Trilateral Summit.(AP Photo/Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Turkish Presidency Press Office, HO)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the United States must stop "harassing" his country's judicial authority and "respect Afghanistan's sovereignty" over its release of prisoners.

Afghanistan on Thursday released 65 accused militants despite protests from the American military, which says the men are Taliban fighters who will likely return to the battlefield to kill coalition and Afghan forces.

Karzai says "Afghanistan is a sovereign country. If Afghanistan judiciary authorities decide to release prisoners, it is of no concern to the United States."

Karzai was speaking in the Turkish capital of Ankara at the end of a three-way summit between the Afghan, Pakistani and Turkish leaders aimed at promoting dialogue and cooperation.