US-Pak sign NATO supply agreement

Wednesday, August 01, 2012
A NATO troops for Afghanistan [File Photo]
Islamabad: Pakistani and U.S. officials on Tuesday formally signed an agreement allowing NATO supply trucks to travel through Pakistan into Afghanistan through the end of 2015. The deal comes a day before the head of Pakistan's spy agency begins talks in Washington with his American counterpart on anti-terrorism cooperation. 
For more than a decade, U.S.-led coalition troops fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan have received supplies through Pakistan without a formal agreement between Islamabad and Washington.
But a coalition airstrike in November that mistakenly killed 24 soldiers prompted Pakistani authorities to shutdown the NATO supply lines and re-evaluate future engagement with the United States.
After months of negations with Washington and a U.S. apology for the deaths of the soldiers, Islamabad reopened two border crossings to coalition cargo earlier this month.  The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding Tuesday in Rawalpindi has formally put an end to the crisis that analysts say was threatening to harm the withdrawal of international combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
During the signing, the senior U.S. diplomat in Pakistan, Richard Hoagland, has reportedly said the agreement set the stage for resolving other issues hampering anti-terrorism cooperation between Pakistan and the United States.

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