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Pakistan declines US envoy visit

Pakistan told US envoy Marc Grossman not to visit until after reviews of relations between the US and NATO are complete.

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U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, who was recently named the new Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, speaks at a press conference on Aug. 31, 2001 in Bogota, Colombia. (Carlos Villalon/Getty Images) (Carlos Villalon/Getty Images)

Pakistan’s government has declined a visit from a US envoy, who is currently handling the reconciliation in its neighbor Afghanistan, the AFP reported.

Marc Grossman, special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, is currently visiting Abu Dhabi during an almost two-week trip that includes stops in Afghanistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It is unclear whether Grossman previously scheduled a visit to Pakistan, or was planning one, but the country announced they didn’t want him to come at this time, CNN reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Unenviable task for new special envoy

Pakistan said it would rather Grossman visit Islamabad after it completes a review of relations with the United States, according to State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

"We received word that the Pakistanis felt it would be best to wait until this parliamentary review is concluded," Toner said, the AFP reported.

Grossman will be in Afghanistan and Qatar this week speaking with US allies about plans for talks with the Taliban, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The postponement of Grossman’s visit to Pakistan is another sign of increased tensions between the two countries, the BBC reported. Relations between Pakistan and the US were further hampered last November when a NATO air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Following the attack, Pakistan demanded an apology but President Barack Obama only expressed his regret of the incident, not a full apology, the AFP reported.

In early December Pakistan said it would review cooperation between the US and NATO and is currently in before parliament. There is no fixed time for its recommendations to be presented to the government, the BBC reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Is the US now ready to pursue peace in Afghanistan?

 


 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/120118/pakistan-declines-us-envoy-visit