NATO hopes to reopen Pakistan supply routes soon

June 13, 2012 - 2:07 AM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — NATO's chief hopes to soon reopen military supply routes through Pakistan despite new transport agreements with other Afghanistan neighbors providing alternatives.

NATO this week struck agreements with Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan allowing the military to evacuate hardware from Afghanistan and bypass Pakistan. Pakistan closed its southern supply routes six months ago after U.S. airstrikes accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

The U.S. recently said a negotiating team was returning home without a deal to reopen the routes. But NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Australia on Wednesday that he hopes Pakistan routes will reopen "in the not too distant future."

He says Central Asian alternatives could prove more costly.