World welcomes reopening of NATO supply
* China says it backs Pakistani decision
* UK says decision shows Pakistan’s commitment to stable Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD: The government’s decision to reopen NATO supply routes was welcomed on Wednesday by different countries, including China, UK, Germany, Turkey and France.
China said it fully stood by Pakistan on its stance on NATO supply and the question of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that it would extend all possible diplomatic support on the issue of war on terrorism.
“We highly appreciate Pakistan’s position on NATO supply to Afghanistan,” said China Institute of International Studies Vice President Dong Manyan while talking with a group of Pakistani journalists that recently visited Beijing.
“Pakistan has rendered great contribution and sacrifices in its efforts to combat terrorism,” he said, adding, “This courageous role is also acknowledged by the international community.”
Eulogising the Pakistan-China strategic partnership, Manyan said it was based on the principle of mutual respect. He said any efforts to harm the relationship or create mistrust would be useless.
United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague also welcomed Pakistan’s decision of reopening of NATO supply route to Afghanistan. In a statement issued by the UK High Commission, Hague said, “I welcome the reopening of the Ground Lines of Communication into Afghanistan, which are important for Britain and NATO’s operations in Afghanistan.”
“This decision underlines Pakistan’s commitment in helping to secure a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, and I am pleased that the US and Pakistan have come to an agreement. During my visit to Pakistan last month, I spoke to Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar about the threat of terrorism in the region,” he said.
Hague said, “I raised the importance of reopening the Ground Lines of Communication and the critical contribution they make to NATO’s efforts to fight terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan, which will support our efforts to ensure lasting stability across the region. We value our long-standing partnership with Pakistan, built on mutual trust, respect and on our many shared interests.”
Germany, Turkey and France also welcomed the decision. The Foreign Office spokesman said these countries had conveyed their welcome note to the Foreign Office.
Meanwhile, in a communiqué of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding reopening of the supply lines for ISAF, it said that “France welcomes the decision of Pakistan to reopen the Ground Lines of Communication. This decision enables the members of ISAF to move ahead with the process of transition in Afghanistan. It should also facilitate the progressive withdrawal of the coalition forces until 2014. Pakistan plays a pivotal role in the stability and security of Afghanistan. Its decision reinforces the much needed cooperation to achieve important objectives”. manzoor qadir/app