US in bid to reopen ISAF supply route
WASHINGTON (PAN): The US said on Monday it was trying to reopen overland NATO supply routes in Pakistan, which has also blocked the transportation of textbooks for Afghan children, a US official said Monday.
“It’s not just about support for the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission, it’s about support for Afghanistan in general and in this case the children of Afghanistan,” a State Department spokesperson said.
Victoria Nuland told reporters at her daily news conference US and Pakistani delegations had made considerable progress in their talks on the issue.
“They (US-Pak teams) have made considerable progress, but they are still working. They are not yet finished with the Pakistanis,” she said. It was an inter-agency team led by the State Department that was holding talks with their Pakistani counterparts, she added.
“I'm not going to get into the substance of the discussion, but we're having a full review with the government of Pakistan on how this transit system works. And all of the issues are on the table in that context,” she said responding to a question.
The Pentagon too made similar statements during the day. “No agreement has been reached, but we do hope that this issue is resolved soon,” said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt John Kirby said the closure of the ground lines of communication would “not” slowdown the recovery of equipment’s as part of the drawdown of 23,000 US troops from Afghanistan as directed by US President Barack Obama.
“Gen John Allen (NATO commander) has made it clear that he can and will meet the goals of recovering the full surge by the end of September that will happen regardless.
“It does mean recovering some equipment. He does believe he would be able to send appropriate amount of equipment out of Afghanistan as well through other means,” Kirby said.
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