Washington: The United States and Pakistan are working on the language of a possible US apology for the Salala air strikes to end their stalemate and reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan, diplomatic sources have said.
Pakistan wants the US to apologise over a November 26 air raid last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at the Salala military post. The US had initially agreed to apologise but changed its mind after aides warned President Barack Obama the move could harm his re-election campaign, reports The Dawn.
Pakistan closed NATO supply routes to Afghanistan after the raid and is refusing to reopen them unless the US apologises.
Sources have said they "now see a stronger desire on both sides" to resolve this dispute.
They said the two sides had already exchanged several drafts of the expected apology and might soon agree "on a draft that meets everybody’s requirements".
The sources rejected recent reports in the US media that Pakistan was refusing to reopen the routes because it wanted higher tariffs from the US for using its highways.
A team of US experts has been based in Islamabad for the past six weeks, trying to end the dispute and reopen the supply routes. On Friday, another senior US official, Assistant Secretary of Defence Peter Levoy, also joined the team.
First Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012, 12:56