Clinton says sorry, Pak opens NATO supply lines
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Pakistan told the US it was reopening NATO's supply routes into neighbouring Afghanistan after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was sorry for the deaths of Pakistani soldiers in American airstrikes in November, the State Department said Tuesday.
The agreement ends a bitter seven-month stalemate between the two countries that has threatened to jeopardise counterterrorism cooperation and complicated the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In a telephone call to Pakistan's foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, Clinton said the two officials agreed that mistakes were made on both sides that led to the fatal airstrike.
"We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," Clinton said in a statement issued by the State Department. "We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again."
The November airstrikes, which killed 24 soldiers in Pakistani territory after reports of militant activity in the area, led Pakistan to immediately close the supply lines.
The agreement on Tuesday followed a flurry of recent contacts between top American and Pakistani officials. Gen. John R. Allen, the American commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, met last week in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani army chief of staff, to discuss counterterrorism strategy and the supply routes.
Over the weekend, Clinton telephoned her cong
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