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US commander to visit Pak to initiate mending of strained bilateral ties

Islamabad, Wed, 08 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 8 (ANI): The Obama administration is reportedly sending a senior American military commander to Pakistan this month in what is being seen as a first step towards getting a strategic relationship that has been frozen for over two months back on track.


The head of the US military's Central Command General James N Mattis will meet the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss the investigations of an exchange of fire at the Afghan border that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, as well as new border coordination procedures to prevent a recurrence of the episode, the Daily Times reports.


Pakistani and American officials are quietly optimistic that both events will trigger a chain of public engagements and private negotiations that will reboot the two nations' strained strategic relationship.


Pakistani officials say they will probably reopen NATO supply lines running through their territory, which have been closed for over two months. The US State Department is supporting a proposal for the United States to issue a formal apology for the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in a US airstrike.


"We've felt an apology would be helpful in creating some space," an American official who has been briefed on the State Department's view said. (ANI)


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