Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Routes to Afghanistan Washington withdraws its negotiators in Pakistan

 United States Monday announced the withdrawal of Pakistan from their negotiators, the latter having failed to reach an agreement with Islamabad to reopen the supply routes for NATO to Afghanistan.

The decision was made to return the home team (the U.S.) for a brief visit, said George Little, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense.

The team, including Mr. Little did not specify the composition, remained six weeks on site. During this period, the U.S. believed to be close to agreement on the reopening of these routes, crucial to supplying the troops stationed in the Atlantic Alliance in Afghanistan.

But no breakthrough was within reach and no date has been set for a resumption of talks, said Mr Little.

The United States will endeavor, however, to maintain dialogue with Pakistan and the start of bargaining does not mean that Washington abandon the talks, he said.

Some U.S. negotiators left this weekend, others will soon follow suit. They stand ready to return at any time, acted as spokesman.

Last week, the commander of the Pakistani army, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has refused to accept the Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States, Peter Lavoy, who had traveled to Pakistan in the hope of settling the dispute.

Pakistan prohibits the passage of convoys of NATO on its territory in retaliation for the deaths of 24 of its soldiers killed in error by U.S. air strikes against a Pakistani border post in November.

Washington has refused a formal apology for the bombing, saying the blame was shared.

To reopen these routes, Islamabad wants to impose a toll high in the order of several thousand dollars, to each truck NATO through its territory. The U.S. refuses this requirement.

The closure of passageways obliges allies to make greater use of their cargo planes and go through to win the northern Pakistan by road, via Russia and former Soviet republics. These roads are long and costly.

The impasse in negotiations with Pakistan, comes as U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, urged Islamabad last week to take action against the Islamist Haqqani network, located in western Pakistan but originally numerous attacks on the Afghan side.

We reach the limit of our patience over the fact that Pakistan continues to allow the Haqqani network to remain in its territory, launched Mr. Panetta during a visit to Kabul.

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