Wednesday, July 04, 2012

U.S. to Free Up $1.1 Billion for Pakistan as Blockade on NATO Lifted

The United States will release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan's military as part of a deal that will see Islamabad lift a blockade on NATO supply convoys into Afghanistan, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The money, from a U.S. "coalition support fund" designed to reimburse Pakistan for the cost of counter-insurgency operations, had been withheld due to tensions between the two countries and Islamabad's closure of the supply routes.

Pakistan and the United States announced earlier that the border would be open once again to NATO convoys.

The coalition support fund is often the subject of wrangling between U.S. and Pakistani officials, with Islamabad's claims often rejected and smaller sums approved by Washington for reimbursement.

The $1.1 billion that will be freed up under the border deal does not include large sums that Pakistan says it is owed, said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"This is the amount that has been approved and already gone through the process," the U.S. official told Agence France Presse.


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