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Investigating NATO raid, no immediate apology: White House

December 02, 2011 08:36 IST
The United States said it was in early stages of investigation into the cross-border North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and was not apologising to Islamabad, as of now.

The incident has thrown the already fragile US-Pakistan ties further in the doldrums and has prompted Pakistan to shut down the NATO supply routes in protest.

"We need to find the results of this investigation. We have offered our condolences... I am not going to prejudge about that action we might take in the future," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when specifically asked if the White House has decided that US President Barack Obama would not apologise for the incident, as was reported by The New York Times.

Carney termed it as "utter nonsense" when asked if this decision of the Obama Administration was based on political considerations. He said the White House, he himself and other members of the government have already expressed their condolences on the death of Pakistani soldiers.

The NYT in its lead story said on Monday that the White House has decided "that President Obama will not offer formal condolences -- at least for now -- to Pakistan for the deaths of two dozen soldiers in NATO airstrikes last week, overruling US State Department officials who argued for such a show of remorse to help salvage America's relationship with Pakistan".

There was a suggestion from the US embassy in Pakistan about taping a message of condolences, Carney said. However, this message of condolences was expressed by not only him from the White House podium, but also by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, and several other members of the administration, Carney said.

He said the US is working with Pakistan to reopen NATO access route to Afghanistan and urged Pakistan again to attend the Bonn conference.

Acknowledging that the relationship with Pakistan has become more complicated in view of the weekend's incident, Carney said nevertheless the relationship is in the interests of the people of the United States.

The United States said it was in early stages of investigation into the cross-border North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and was not apologising to Islamabad, as of now. The incident has thrown the already fragile US-Pakistan ties further in the doldrums and has prompted Pakistan to shut down the NATO supply routes in protest.

"We need to find the results of this investigation. We have offered our condolences... I am not going to prejudge about that action we might take in the future," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when specifically asked if the White House has decided that US President Barack Obama would not apologise for the incident, as was reported by The New York Times.

Carney termed it as "utter nonsense" when asked if this decision of the Obama Administration was based on political considerations. He said the White House, he himself and other members of the government have already expressed their condolences on the death of Pakistani soldiers.

The NYT in its lead story said on Monday that the White House has decided "that President Obama will not offer formal condolences -- at least for now -- to Pakistan for the deaths of two dozen soldiers in NATO airstrikes last week, overruling US State Department officials who argued for such a show of remorse to help salvage America's relationship with Pakistan".

There was a suggestion from the US embassy in Pakistan about taping a message of condolences, Carney said. However, this message of condolences was expressed by not only him from the White House podium, but also by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, and several other members of the administration, Carney said.

He said the US is working with Pakistan to reopen NATO access route to Afghanistan and urged Pakistan again to attend the Bonn conference.

Acknowledging that the relationship with Pakistan has become more complicated in view of the weekend's incident, Carney said nevertheless the relationship is in the interests of the people of the United States.

 

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