Gen. James Mattis, head of US Central Command. - AFP File Photo

WASHINGTON: The top US commander in the Middle East says he will travel to Pakistan in about 10 days to talk with leaders about reopening ground supply routes that have been closed since late November.        

Gen. James Mattis, commander of US Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US needs those supply routes to facilitate the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Pakistan shut down the supply routes in an uproar over US airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in an exchange of fire at the Afghanistan border on Nov. 26.

US officials have worked to try and repair the tattered relations with Islamabad.

Pakistan has rebuffed any US military visits since the airstrikes, and Islamabad's parliament is working out new guidelines to define the US-Pakistan alliance.

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