Deal on reopening NATO supply routes soon: US
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States on Tuesday hoped that Pakistan would soon reopen crucial NATO supply routes that has remained closed for six months following a NATO airstrike that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers last November.
American officials were optimistic of reaching consensus with Pakistan, as discussions on the subject had entered crucial phase, though no final decision had been made so far, the Pentagon press secretary told reporters.
“We have been in discussions with the government of Pakistan for some time on the reopening of the ground lines of communication (GLOC) and we are hopeful that in the very near future they will be reopened,” he said.
“They are important supply routes for us. We continue to work closely with the Pakistanis to renew a vibrant relationship that gets over some of the obstacles we faced together in the past,” Little added.
He believed the US-Pakistan relationship was getting to where it needed to be and that was why they were committed to ongoing dialogue, not just on GLOCs and terrorism, but across the full range of security issues of common interest.
At a separate news conference, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland acknowledged Pakistan did have an important role to play in supporting Afghan security. “We do want to see these land routes opened. We are continuing to work on it. But we thought it was important to have them at the (Chicago) summit in this partnership role.”
She claimed: “We are making progress and we will continue to work on this throughout the week. Obviously, it will be a wonderful signal if we can get it done by the time of the summit.”
Nuland said NATO countries decided it was important to have Pakistan in the International Security Assistance Force meeting. “And that is why NATO invited Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to the Chicago Summit.”
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