US, Pak close to supply route solution
US and Pakistan are close to finding a solution to Islamabad's recent ban on a crucial American supply line to Afghanistan, the White House has said.world Updated: Oct 05, 2010 09:28 IST
US and Pakistan are close to finding a solution to Islamabad's recent ban on a crucial American supply line to Afghanistan, the White House has said.
"We are in discussions and working with the government of Pakistan to address the concerns relating to the closure of the border there. We believe we are close to producing some results on that and may have more on that in the future," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
The discussions in this regard are happening at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department between the diplomats of the two countries, he said.
"We're working government to government. We have expressed our condolences for what happened several days ago in Pakistan with ISAF and their forces. We're working through the border closing right now," Gibbs said.
Since Thursday, Pakistan had blocked a land route for NATO convoys carrying supplies to Afghanistan after officials blamed a cross-border NATO helicopter attack for the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers.
Meanwhile, both the State Department and Pentagon said the ongoing blockage of NATO supply route to Afghanistan by Pakistan in the last few days is not having any impact on US operations across the border.
"I'm not aware that the closure of this one gate has had any material effect on our ability to resupply our forces. It hasn’t been a problem," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.
"I can't speak to the reasons why that particular route is currently not available, but it has, last time I checked, not interfered with our ability to resupply our forces in Afghanistan," he said.
"Just to clarify, I'm only aware of one particular gate that remains closed. We do have multiple routes into Afghanistan. The flow of materiel through Pakistan to Afghanistan continues, but this is an issue that we continue to discuss with Pakistan," Crowley said.
"We are continuing to have the dialogue," said Pentagon spokesman Col David Lapan but specific details of the dialogue were unavailable.
"As they indicated last week to us that the Pakistani military was concerned that rising tension might cause security concerns. And that was the reason behind closing that particular route," he said, adding the Pakistani authorities were concerned about violence inside the country.
Approximately 50 per cent of the US supplies to Afghanistan goes through Pakistan, Lapan said.