Washington: The Pentagon on Tuesday said that it
has expressed "deepest regret" on the loss of life due to
cross border fire on November 26, but declined to comment if
there was any move by the US to apologise for the incident
that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Commenting on a New York Times report which claimed the
US is considering to apologise to Pakistan for the incident,
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said, "I am not going
to comment specifically on that report. As you know, in
December we expressed our deepest regret to those who were
killed and in the November 25/26 border incident,"
"We expressed our deepest regret to the Government
of Pakistan, in fact to the people of Pakistan," he said.
"I am not going to comment on that specific report
and would leave it there," Little said responding to questions
on The New York Times article which said that the US is
considering apologising to Pakistan for the November 26
"The State Department is supporting a proposal
circulating in the administration for the United States to
issue a formal apology for the deaths of the Pakistani
soldiers in the November 26 airstrike by American gunships,"
The New York Times said in a news story today.
According to it, General Mattis, is expected to travel to
Pakistan later this month to meet Gen. Kayani, to discuss the
investigations of November 26 incident, as well as new border
coordination procedures to prevent a recurrence of the
episode. The Pentagon did not confirm the report.
"I do not have any visits to announce today. We always
look forward to meeting our Pakistani counterparts," Little
said when asked about it. Little also said that there is no
new updates on the closed NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.
"No new updates," he said, when asked about The New
York Times report that these supply routes could soon be
opened. The report said Pakistani officials are saying that
they will soon reopen the NATO supply route to Afghanistan,
which has been shut down since November last year.
Pakistan is expected to seek an unspecified tariff on
all goods passing through, the newspaper said. American
officials say they are open to paying, but point out that the
alternative northern supply route into Afghanistan, through
Central Asia, has picked up much of the slack in recent
months, it said.