Alternative routes with Kazakhstan discussed, says US
WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the United States was discussing with Kazakhstan logistics support for the Northern Distribution Network which brings supplies for US and Nato troops in Afghanistan.
US officials said that the northern supply line had become crucial for them after Pakistan closed the routes the US and Nato had been using for supplying their troops in Afghanistan.
“Kazakhstan has been very helpful in our efforts to stabilise Afghanistan,” Secretary Clinton told reporters at a joint press appearance with Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov.
“We also will cover issues of stabilisation in Afghanistan and our logistics support to the Northern Distribution Network,” during the talks between the two countries that began in Washington on Thursday.
In a related development, the US State Department described Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s visit to Kabul as timely and welcomed her offer to help facilitate peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
“Any show of commitment by Pakistan against Haqqani network, either with us or Afghans, is very welcome,” the department’s spokesperson told a briefing on Thursday.
“We look forward to hearing from Afghan and Pakistani leadership about the recent meetings of Foreign Minister Khar.”
The US official noted that both Pakistani and Afghan sides had issued “positive statements” during the visit. “We always have supported good neighbourly relations on security and political sides between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”