Afghan Leader In Pakistan To Discuss Peace Talks

Published February 16, 2012 7:09AM (EST)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai has arrived in Pakistan for talks on how Islamabad can facilitate peace negotiations with the Afghan Taliban.

Karzai's visit on Thursday comes at a time when momentum for peace talks seems to be building.

The Taliban are setting up an office in the tiny Gulf state of Qatar in the first step toward formal negotiations.

Pakistan is seen as key to the peace process because of its historical ties with the Taliban and many of the group's leaders are believed to be based on its territory.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said recently that Karzai's visit would be focused on figuring out exactly what role Islamabad would play in the negotiations.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The U.S. Embassy says Pakistan's border with Afghanistan remains closed to NATO despite comments by a senior Pakistani official that seemed to indicate the coalition would be allowed to transport some food items.

Pakistan closed the crossings to NATO at the end of November in retaliation for American airstrikes that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said this week that Pakistan would temporarily allow NATO to ship perishable items to its troops in Afghanistan. He said the coalition could transport the supplies "by air or by truck."

But the U.S. Embassy said on Thursday that the crossings remained closed.

U.S. Ambassador Cameron Munter has said the air route remains open.

By Salon Staff

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