Pak, U.S. to push for NATO supply routes reopening deal this week

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 04, 2012 06:30 hrs

Pakistan and the United States will be pushing for a much-talked about agreement this week on the reopening of vital supply routes for US-led foreign forces fighting Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The talks reached an impasse over taxes and additional transit fee of 5000 dollars that Islamabad is demanding for each truck of NATO supplies that crosses its border into Afghanistan, reports The Express Tribune.

In a latest effort to break the impasse, U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Levoy will be travelling to Islamabad this week with an American delegation for negotiations with Pakistani authorities, according to a Foreign Office official.

Levoy would have the mandate to take a decision on the contentious issue of taxation, said the official.

Levoy, who is in charge of Asia and Pacific Security Affairs at the Pentagon, had also spoken to Pakistani officials on this matter in Islamabad back in April, without any success.

However, officials from both sides are expecting 'tangible progress' in the upcoming talks to put their troubled partnership back on track.

The two sides are believed to be working on proposals to strike a middle ground on the additional transit fee.

During Levoy's tour, diplomatic sources said, the two sides may reach a compromise agreement. (ANI)