WASHINGTON: Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense George Little said that the US was hopeful that Pakistan will reopen NATO supply routes soon.
Addressing a press briefing on Tuesday, along with Pentagon spokesperson Captain John Kirby, the Department of Defense (DoD) representative Little said that counterterrorism co-operation with Pakistan is on-going.
Asked whether the US would issue a formal apology regarding the November 26, 2011, incident when Nato gunships bombarded a Pakistani border checkpost, killing 24 soldiers, Little said that they had expressed deep regret and extended their condolences.
He added that they were continuing to work closely with Pakistan to renew the relationship.
The DoD spokesperson said that the US was committed to an on-going dialogue on a full range of security issues.
“We believe we share common interests with Pakistan. The relationship is getting to where it needs to be.”
The US issued this statement as Pakistan’s Defence Cabinet Committee (DCC) endorsed President Asif Ali Zardari’s participation in the Chicago summit, stipulated for later this week.
The DoD spokesperson, reiterated, that terrorism is a common concern for the US and Pakistan. “The same terrorists that come after us, go after the Pakistanis,” he said, saying that terrorists have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Pakistanis.
Commander William Speaks, a Pentagon spokesperson, told The Express Tribune that “an interagency team, including DoD officials, which accompanied Ambassador Grossman during his recent visit to Pakistan, and that team remains in Islamabad continuing discussions on this and other issues.”
Describing efforts of that team, he said that while discussions with their Pakistani counterparts had been “productive, the decision to re-open the ground lines of communication is ultimately decision for the government of Pakistan.”
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