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Pakistan Allows U.S. Supply Containers Into Afghanistan

RIA Novosti

11:07 19/05/2012

MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistan has allowed four shipping containers destined for the U.S. embassy in Kabul to cross into Afghanistan for the first time since it closed its borders for shipments six months ago, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The four trucks containing office supplies traveled via the Torkham border post, officials said.

"Pakistan government has never put restriction on the transportation of supplies for the diplomatic missions, including the American Embassy in Kabul," said a senior official, who is dealing with the matter.

He added, however, that the ban on NATO shipments was "still intact."

Pakistan imposed a blockade on NATO's ground supply lines to Afghanistan following a U.S. air raid in November last year along the Afghan border which left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead.

A senior Pakistani official said "a lot more" will be shipped to Afghanistan in the coming days.

"These all are diplomatic shipments - I mean non-Nato supplies," he said.

Before the closures last year, more than 70 percent of supplies needed by the U.S.-led international troops in Afghanistan were transported by land from the Pakistani port of Karachi, the Washington Post said.

Earlier this week, the Pakistani cabinet ordered officials to finalize a deal as quickly as possible to end the blockade.

Pakistan and U.S. officials, however, are still negotiating fees and logistics, and its is not clear when the transit lines will reopen, the Dawn paper said.

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