Islamabad is ready to move on, says Pakistani FM | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 14.05.2012
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Islamabad is ready to move on, says Pakistani FM

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar has said her country is ready to 'move on' and repair relations with the US, a day after commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan met with the Pakistani and Afghan army chiefs in Islamabad.

Shakoor Rahim, DW correspondent in Islamabad, said it now seemed likely that the Pakistani government would finally reopen the key NATO supply route to Afghanistan, which Islamabad has kept closed off since November last year after a NATO airstrike near the Afghan border that killed 24 of its soldiers.

Rahim also said that Pakistani civilian and military officials had met on Monday to discuss a solution to the crisis and also to debate Pakistan's participation in a key NATO summit coming up in Chicago next week.

US General John Allen

US General John Allen said he was 'encouraged' by the talks

On Sunday, US General John Allen, Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and Afghan army chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi met in Islamabad with their delegations to discuss the region's security issues. General Allen referred to the talks as very encouraging.

"There was agreement these meetings are important to achieving continued progress toward (...) a peaceful Afghanistan so that Afghanistan can no longer be a safe haven for terrorists," Allen said, according to an ISAF statement.

"Common strategic goals"

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said in a press conference on Monday that it was important for both Pakistan and the US to "move on."

"It was important to make a point. Pakistan has made its point and we now need to move on and go into a positive zone and try to conduct our relations," Khar said.

Afghanistan-bound trucks loaded with NATO supplies have been stranded in Pakistan for months

NATO supplies have been blocked for more than six months

Khar told the media that Pakistan and NATO shared "common strategic goals" in the region, and that Islamabad did not want to sever ties with the West. She, however, said that the Pakistani government had to follow the parliamentary recommendations in this regard.

"The negotiations are underway. One should not expect an overnight resolution of the conflict," Khar said, adding that the majority of Pakistanis wanted friendly ties with the West. She said that those who did not want good ties with the US and NATO were a minority in Pakistan.

May 20 deadline

NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier that Islamabad must reopen supply routes to NATO before the start of the Chicago summit on May 20.

Pakistani media has reported that the government decided to open its border and that it was going to make a public announcement about it very soon.

Author: Shamil Shams (AFP, AP)
Editor: Sarah Berning

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