US, Pakistan close to signing NATO supply deal - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

US, Pakistan close to signing NATO supply deal

Posted:
ISLAMABAD (AP) -

U.S. officials say they're close to signing a deal with Pakistan that would regulate the flow of NATO troop supplies in and out of Afghanistan.

It would put on paper the somewhat informal agreement that has fueled the Afghan war over the past decade.

During negotiations that led to the supply line being reopened two weeks ago, Pakistan had pushed for a written agreement. The supply route had been closed for seven months, as Pakistan retaliated for American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the Afghan border.

The incident brought the already-troubled U.S.-Pakistani relationship close to the breaking point.

Pakistan is seen as crucial to getting the Taliban back to the reconciliation talks aimed at ending the Afghan war.

The route through Pakistan is a vital one for the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2014. That's one of the reasons the U.S. finally agreed to Pakistan's demand that it apologize for the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers.

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