Pakistan Allows U.S. Supplies Into Afghanistan

By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Four trucks containing supplies for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul drove from Pakistan into Afghanistan on Friday, the first time Pakistan has allowed such a border crossing since closing the routes six months ago, a U.S. official said.

The source noted that officially, there had never been a suspension of the movement of diplomatic supplies through Pakistan, only military supplies, and this did not mean the NATO supply routes had been reopened. But this was the first time diplomatic materials were allowed through in six months.

The load on the four trucks was not meant for NATO forces but was made up of construction materials for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, according to the official.

The Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., Sherry Rehman, said that allowing supplies was a first step.

"So this is a new beginning. And, obviously, I bring good tidings," Rehman said in an interview broadcast Friday on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

Pakistan and the U.S. have not agreed to a full reopening of the border crossings to allow NATO supplies to flow.

The border has been closed since NATO airstrikes killed 24 Pakistani troops in November and the U.S. refused to apologize for the incident. The two countries are still negotiating, according to Pakistani and American officials. Among other things, Pakistan is seeking higher transit fees for each load that crosses its border, according to the American official.

The official would speak only on the condition no name was used. Pakistani officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The gesture comes as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari prepares to head to NATO meetings in Chicago this weekend.

Rehman said it would be premature to say when the blockade would be lifted but said there has been "some movement forward."

She said the demand for an apology continues.

"I think that is not going to go off the table," she said.

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