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US CENTCOM chief to visit Pakistan to discuss NATO ground supply route

March 7, 2012 - Washington

Top US military commander General James Mattis has said he will be visiting Pakistan in the next ten days to discuss re-opening NATO supply routes, with officials.

The announcement came after The New York Times first reported in February that the US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander General James Mattis would be visiting Pakistan in an effort to repair ties between both countries, The Express Tribune reports.

Testifying at a hearing of the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, General Mattis said that the US did need ground lines through Pakistan, and mentioned that he would be meeting Pakistani officials on his trip there in ten days.

Talking about the bilateral ties between both countries, he remained optimistic that they would make progress in this regard.

Relations remain tense between both countries following a NATO airstrike on November 26, 2011, of last year that led to the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers.

General Mattis said that co-operation with Pakistan is continuing on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border after the NATO airstrike, and that the border coordination meetings had been taking place at different levels.


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