Last Updated:July 31 @ 07:13 pm

Clinton apologizes to Pakistan

By Bradley Klapper

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration said Tuesday that Pakistan was reopening its supply lines into Afghanistan, after the U.S. belatedly issued an apology for the November killing of 24 Pakistani troops in a NATO airstrike.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed her condolences for the deaths in a telephone conversation with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. The incident badly damaged already strained relations between the two countries and forced the U.S. and its allies to send supplies via costlier northern routes into Afghanistan.

"We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," Clinton said in a statement, recounting her discussion with Khar. "I offered our sincere condolences to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who lost their lives. Foreign Minister Khar and I acknowledged the mistakes that resulted in the loss of Pakistani military lives."

It is the first time any U.S. official has formally apologized for the deaths, a step hotly debated within the Obama administration and one demanded by Pakistan while its supply routes remained closed for seven months. It came as key Pakistani civilian and military leaders were meeting Tuesday evening in Islamabad to discuss whether to reopen NATO supply routes.

Clinton said a decision had been reached.

"I am pleased that Foreign Minister Khar has informed me that the ground supply lines into Afghanistan are opening," Clinton said. She said Pakistan won't charge any transit fee, the subject of an earlier negotiation, and that the reopening would help the U.S. draw down its war in Afghanistan "at a much lower cost."

"This is a tangible demonstration of Pakistan's support for a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and our shared objectives in the region," she said, calling the agreement "critically important to the men and women who are fighting terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan."

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also welcomed Pakistan's decision.

"As I have made clear, we remain committed to improving our partnership with Pakistan and to working closely together as our two nations confront common security challenges in the region," he said.

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7 Comments

  1. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    July 3, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

    another glaring example of WEAKNESS.

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    Rating: 4.3/5 (12 votes cast)
  2. genesalComment by genesal
    July 3, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    She should also apologize for her old man and for the way she looks. That’s what you get for dealing with your enemies. We learned that lesson back in Viet Nam. Is she new at this?

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (11 votes cast)
  3. mokyfellowComment by mokyfellow
    July 3, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    I think this apology was past due. We are not a war with Pakistan and any action inside their country by US troops should be our responsibility.

    Do I like Hillary? Hell no!

    Do I like Bill? ditto

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    • godsgirlComment by godsgirl
      July 4, 2012 @ 10:53 am

      Have they apologized to us for harboring Bin Laden?

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  4. ARTnTEXASComment by ARTnTEXAS
    July 3, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

    She told them that it was George Bush’s fault.

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    • genesalComment by genesal
      July 3, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

      Nice one!

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  5. mcrankComment by mcrank
    July 4, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    One could get the impression that this administration thinks this country is sorry (pun intended).

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