Talks with Pakistan on supply line to continue: US
WASHINGTON (PAN): The United States will continue talks with Pakistan to reopen the ground lines of communication (GLOCs), despite NATO signing a deal with three Central Asian countries to use their territory to shift the alliance’s equipment out of Afghanistan.
At a news conference, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the US continued negotiations with Pakistan on reopening the GLOCs. “This administration and the government of Pakistan are committed to resolving that issue. We believe that it will be resolved but I have no specific updates for you on that.”
The Pentagon said NATO’s recent agreement with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan did not mean the Obama administration had given up parleys with Pakistan on the issue.
“No, I would not take the pursuit of this deal and this agreement as any kind of repudiation of the importance of those gates or the larger relationship with Pakistan,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby told reporters.
“This is an agreement that the alliance made with these three nations. As you know, we have bilateral agreements with them as well through the northern distribution network to move goods in and out of Afghanistan,” he noted.
Kirby also said the Chaman and Torkham gates should remain open as they were crucial for the flow of coalition traffic in and out of Afghanistan.
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said NATO’s agreement with the Central Asian republics was to allow two-way transit of non-lethal military equipment in and out of Afghanistan.
“We want to see, obviously, the GLOCs open as soon as possible, but this is a logistically challenging region, so we like that built-in redundancy,” the spokesperson concluded.
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